A day after the Fourth of July light shows in Chicago, U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis sent out his own fireworks announcing a committee to explore his run for president of the Cook County Board.

Davis held his press conference in front of the former Cook County Hospital, 1835 W. Harrison, which stands vacant and ragged. The congressman said some of the most renowned physicians once practiced there and millions of patients were cured there.

“Many people spoke to me about possibly coming back to the county board as its president … I commissioned a poll to see where I stand in relationship to some of the other individuals who have expressed an interest and desire to run. All of them that I know of, with the exception of Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, were included. At the time I did not know that she was going to be a candidate. Our poll was a standard poll, conducted by a professional and reputable pollster, Ron Lester, who interviewed 600 voters from throughout all sectors of Cook County and I must say that the results were heartwarming.”

Davis went on to say that summaries were available of the poll for review and that the poll reaffirmed that a leadership change is needed. “It revealed an overwhelming majority of the voters in Cook County desire a change in leadership, and that finding, in part, leads me to believe that the incumbent will have a very difficult time being elected,” Davis said.

Austin Weekly News caught up with him afterward.

How will you address the question about splitting the black vote?

“Everybody speaking today may very well not be running in October. Oftentimes people will say that they’re interested in running for public office and they run until it is time to be declared an official candidate. We look at the numbers and try to validate them, and the thing that pleases me the most about this poll is that my numbers are good among African American voters, but they are also good among non-African American voters. So I won’t be running as a candidate to just get the African American vote, I will be running as a candidate to represent all of the people of Cook County. Fortunately I’ve been able to get votes ever since I’ve been running for office that were not African American votes. I’ve always gotten non-African American votes and I would expect to continue to do that. I represent right now one of the most diverse congressional districts in America. Right now I am not afraid of splitting the vote, I want to get at least 50 percent of the vote no matter how many candidates might be running, plus one.”

Have you talked with Todd Stroger?
“I have not spoken with President Stroger lately. But I’m sure that President Stroger is aware of the fact that I have been considering a run for this position. I will be talking to him just as soon as we can connect. And let me just tell you, I think that Todd Stroger is an honorable man, but I don’t think that President Stroger is going to be able to turn around the kind of numbers that I have seen in this polling data. And there was no doctoring. I didn’t tell the pollster any questions to ask or suggest what they might be doing.”