Preckwinkle rules out bid for mayor - Dallas News |

Preckwinkle rules out bid for mayor

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CHICAGO (Associated Press) -

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is ruling out a 2015 bid for Chicago mayor.

Speculation the Chicago Democrat might run raised the prospect of a formidable challenge to current Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

But Preckwinkle says in a Tuesday statement she intends to keep commitments she made to constituents. She says that includes improving the county's criminal justice and health care systems.

Preckwinkle has served as county board president since 2010. She plans to seek a second four-year term.

Mayor Emanuel released a statement of his own just after Preckwinkle's announcement. He called Preckwinkle a "strong partner" and says they have more work to do together.

No other major candidates have yet announced mayoral bids. Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis and Alderman Robert Fioretti say they're both considering runs.

Preckwinkle statement: “I have decided to rule out a run for Mayor of Chicago in 2015 because I made a commitment to reform Cook County's criminal justice system, transform our healthcare system, and ensure the viability of our pension system.”

"We are making progress, but we still have work to do. I'm proud that we have balanced the budget every year while cutting the sales tax, holding the line on property taxes, and cutting a billion dollars of fat out of our budget. I am equally proud that our economic development initiatives have helped position our region to create new jobs in the near future. I promised to clean up Cook county government and we are changing the culture of how we do business," she said.

"In many instances we have vastly improved the delivery of services to county residents, but we have a lot of unfinished business that I intend to address wholeheartedly. I am passionate about making Cook County a more fair and efficient place to live and work. I appreciate all of those who have expressed confidence in me by urging me to run for Mayor, and I hope you will continue to support me going forward," she added.

Mayor Emanuel statement: "Toni Preckwinkle has been a strong partner in tackling many of the challenges facing Chicago neighborhoods, and an outspoken voice for criminal justice and pension reform. The unprecedented cooperation between the City and County has produced more than $65 million in taxpayer savings, a reformed workforce board that's finding jobs for more Chicagoans, and expanded partnership to expand minority and women-owned businesses. I agree that we have more work to do together on these and other issues so that we can find ways to improve Chicago and Cook County for everybody."

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