Fioretti To Run Against Preckwinkle For Cook County Board President

CHICAGO (CBS) — Bob Fioretti announced Monday he’s challenging Toni Preckwinkle in the Democratic primary for Cook County Board President.

Fioretti kicked off his candidacy at the Sun Aero Building at the Lansing Municipal Airport. Owned by the Village of Lansing, the airport has to pay a leasehold tax — something similar to a property tax for companies that are located on public property. According to Fioretti, this has resulted in money lost for the airport in recent years.

“We don’t invite people in here, we tax them out,” Fioretti said. “When Cook County is the only county to impose tax after tax — whether it’s an extra sales tax, a soda tax, or a special leasehold tax — the disastrous results are predictable.”

The former Chicago alderman, who’s running on an anti-tax platform, did not rule out ever raising taxes if elected, but he said the Cook County government has to be reinvented.

“It is time to rise up and take back our Cook County government from the political insiders who have been running and ruining it,” Fioretti said, who began circulating petitions to put his name on the ballot once the contentious sweetened beverage tax fizzled in October.

Following the announcement, Preckwinkle’s political director, Scott Kastrup, issued the following statement, in part, on her behalf:

“President Preckwinkle is focused on navigating the county through tough economic circumstances and leading on behalf of the people of Cook County. Her strong record of reforming county government and improving access to healthcare speaks for itself.

“President Preckwinkle has broad support across the country and is in a strong position to win re-election in March,” Kastrup said.

Fioretti, a native of the Roseland neighborhood, was elected 2nd Ward alderman and Democratic Committeeman to two terms from 2007 to 2015, and is currently a civil rights attorney at the Roth Fioretti law firm.

He also beat throat cancer and says, “I’ve been eight years cancer free, and wouldn’t be doing this if I was not healthy.”

Signatures are due Dec. 4 for the primary election to be held on March 20, 2018.

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