By AARON GETTINGER
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle didn’t win the 4th Ward last night, where she had been alderman for decades. Nor did she win the neighboring 5th Ward. Chicagoans gave a relative outsider, Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot, a landslide win as questions over ethics and corruption took their toll on Preckwinkle’s candidacy.
Citywide, Preckwinkle took a little over a quarter of the vote — but she polled well only in Hyde Park, where she has lived, worked and raised a family since matriculating at the University of Chicago as a teenager. She won 18 of the 30 precincts that cover Hyde Park–Kenwood alongside one precinct just north of Washington Park and another in Woodlawn.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Preckwinkle took 5,899 votes to Lightfoot’s 5,509 in Hyde Park–Kenwood, 51.7% to 48.3%.
Preckwinkle served as 4th Ward alderman from 1991 to 2010, when became the county government executive. She later became the head of the county Democratic Party.
She spoke about her home base in a January interview for a Herald profile, praising the diverse and “very politically progressive” Hyde Park and South Kenwood communities for sending her to City Council on her third try.
“I was alderman of this community for 19 years. I’m proud of the service that I gave to the people of the 4th Ward and proud of the service that I’ve given to the people of Cook County,” she said.