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Chicago Politician Toni Preckwinkle Announces Bid To Become City’s First Black Woman Mayor

Chicago Politician Toni Preckwinkle Announces Bid To Become City’s First Black Woman Mayor

Photo credit: Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune

Following Rahm Emanuel’s announcement that he will not seek another term as Chicago's mayor, politician Toni Preckwinkle has announced her bid for the city’s top job. If she wins, she will become Chicago’s first African American female mayor.

Preckwinkle made her recent announcement at the Chicago Lake Shore Hotel, which is the same location that the city's first Black mayor, Harold Washington, announced his run for the position in 1982. Former President Barack Obama also announced his 1996 state Senate bid at the same hotel.

"I can't think of no better place," the Chicago Tribune reports her saying, "to announce my candidacy for mayor of Chicago."

As Cook County Board President, Preckwinkle is unopposed on the November ballot for a third term in her position, leaving many to wonder why she wants to throw in her bid for mayor now.

“There are those who have asked, and will ask, why I want to take on this job. I understand their thinking,” she says. “I’ve faced no shortage of challenges while in public office. Why would I want to tackle even more?”

But the 71-year-old responded to all speculations with the simple answer of "I'm doing this because I can.” She added, “I’m doing this because it’s necessary. I don’t make this decision lightly."

Right now, Preckwinkle will run against 15 other candidates, including 22-year-old Black Lives Matter activist Ja’Mal Green.

She says her campaign will be ran on a platform that includes decreasing gun violence, reducing the country’s jail population, holding officers of the Chicago Police Department accountable, decriminalizing substance abuse and mental illness and highlighting the importance of local education.

Chicago's mayoral election will be held on February 26, 2019, leaving time for even more big name politicians to throw their name in the race.