Surrounded by West Side clergy and elected officials, U.S. Representative Danny Davis (7th) endorsed Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle for mayor of Chicago. The congressman announced the endorsement during a press conference held March 19 at the JLM Community Center, 2622 W. Jackson Blvd. 

Davis touted Preckwinkle’s record of improving South Side neighborhoods while she was 4th Ward alderman, as well as her work reducing the number of detainees in the Cook County Jail. He also lauded her for her work on expanding healthcare access in Cook County Health and Hospitals System and improving opportunities for minority-owned businesses. Davis added that he believes that, under 

“You know, when I drive through the 4th Ward and compare it to what it looked like before Toni Preckwinkle became alderman, it looks like a miracle on the lakefront,” Davis said. “And I take the position that, if you can do it in one area, you can do it in all of Chicago. I want the same things happening in other disadvantaged areas on the West Side, far South Side and North Side of the city. I know she can make it happen because she’s already done it.”

Although Davis explained that Preckwinkle’s opponent, Lori Lightfoot, has many admirable qualities, he said that she doesn’t have any governing experience.

“We’re at the point when we’re going to make a decision, we’re going to take a chance,” Davis said. “Would you rather take a chance on an individual [who is] a great prosecutor, a well-learned individual, an outstanding lawyer, a superb orator with great-sounding ideas, but never having been elected? Never? You know, you can talk about what it might feel like to be there, but having the experience of doing it is very different.”

Other elected and faith leaders who stood in support of Preckwinkle at the conference included Cook County Commissioners Brandon Johnson (1st) and Dennis Deer (2nd) , as well as Aldermen Walter Burnett (27th) and Jason Ervin (28th).

Preckwinkle thanked the Davis and other faith leaders and elected officials for their endorsements, saying that, if elected, she would focus on the neighborhoods.

“I know what it’s like because I inherited the 4th Ward [in bad condition],” she said. “I have the experience doing that hard work with elected officials and [the community]. I look forward to bring that same energy and the same experience to building the community throughout the city. We need to invest in neighborhoods in Chicago – we particularly need to invest in the neighborhoods on the West Side of Chicago.”


Igor Studenkov is a winner of multiple Illinois Press Association awards for local government and business reporting. He has been contributing to Austin Weekly News since 2015. His work has also appeared...