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Jack O'Malley, the last Republican to hold countywide office in Cook County, shown in 1995. File Photo.

GOP to sit out countywide races? All part of the plan, party says

I can confidently predict there will be exactly zero votes tallied on Tuesday for the 2014 Republican candidate for Cook County Board president. That’s because, as anyone who has already voted here has been reminded, there is no Republican candidate for County Board president this year.


Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will stump with Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

Preckwinkle stumping for Schneider as Dold hits radio shows

WASHINGTON — Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle stumps with Rep. Brad Schneider D-Ill., on Tuesday to highlight Obamacare at the Frisbee Senior Center in  Des Plaines while former Rep. Bob Dold R-Ill. is doing two radio interviews and some other voter outreach.

President Barack Obama listens as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announces his resignation on Thursday in Washington, D.C. Obama said that Holder will remain in office until a successor is nominated and confirmed. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Health scare figures in Holder’s decision to leave Justice Dept.

Sneed is told that Attorney General Eric Holder, who has announced he is pulling the plug on his White House career, decided to finally do so over the Labor Day holidays. Although it has been reported that Holder, who is this/close to President Barack Obama and his chief White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, now wants to get involved in justice issues involving minorities, Sneed is told he faced a major stop sign in late February, when he was taken to a hospital in Washington, D.C., after experiencing an elevated heart rate and shortness of breath.

Gov. Pat Quinn talks to Darold Butler, coach of the Jackie Robinson West All-Stars, during Wednesday's rally at Jackie Robinson Park. | Ashlee Rezin/for Sun-Times Media

PHOTOS: Politicians cheer on Jackie Robinson West

Thousands cheered on Jackie Robinson West during their downtown rally on Wednesday, and a handful of politicians were on hand as well.

On July 15, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle explains why she will not be running for mayor of the City of Chicago. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

Preckwinkle freed up to push real reform

Preckwinkle is happily free, she says, from the polling, speculation and trash talking. It was “distracting.”   Over a glass of milk and chocolate cake (it was a rough day), she dived into her favorite wonky issues: criminal justice reform, health care and economic development.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle presides over a Cook County Board Meeting in May. File Photo. | Chandler West/For Sun-Times Media

County commissioners switch votes, rehire erstwhile contractor

Turning a popular political saying on its side, a majority of Cook County commissioners on Wednesday were against it before they were for it.

Illinois Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, ask questions during a committee hearing at the Illinois State Capitol in January 2013 in Springfield. | Seth Perlman/AP

Kwame Raoul, Emil Jones eyed as possible mayoral contenders

Exclusive: Sneed is told that top African-American business and civic leaders are scheduling a meeting in August with Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, who has formed an exploratory committee, but a top source tells Sneed that state Sen. Kwame Raoul should be regarded as a “bona fide contender.”

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle explains why she will not be running for mayor of the City of Chicago. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

Karen Lewis: Preckwinkle decision 'changes the playing field'

Karen Lewis says Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s decision to rule out a run for mayor “changes the playing field.” But the outspoken teachers union president was not yet ready to suit up and join the game herself.  “It certainly is a huge change,” Lewis said on Tuesday in a phone interview. However, Lewis said Preckwinkle’s decision would not influence her own game plan.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis is hugged by a supporter outside Chicago Board of Education headquarters at 125 S. Clark St. in 2013. File Photo. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

Exclusive poll: Karen Lewis could give Rahm run for his money

For the past couple of weeks, Karen Lewis has been saying she is “seriously” considering running for mayor. It turns out voters are taking the fiery Chicago Teachers Union president’s potential candidacy seriously as well, based on a surprising new Early & Often poll.

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