Blacks Try to Retain Power as Board Race Splits Community

Don Terry, New York Times, January 15, 2010

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In the Democratic Party primary on Feb. 2, Mr. Stroger [Todd H. Stroger, Cook County board president] will face two black opponents–Alderman Toni Preckwinkle of the Fourth Ward and Dorothy Brown, the clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court–and one white candidate, Terrence O’Brien, president of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

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Many voters, elected officials and scholars said in interviews they believe that black political power in the county is in decline. {snip}

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{snip} Mr. Hendon [State Senator Rickey R. Hendon, candidate for lieutenant governor] said, “Young black candidates are popping up because of Barack’s influence. The black voter is tired of the old regime.”

They may be getting tired of the new regime as well. Mark Allen, an advocate of black independent politics, said black voters in Chicago had gone from giddy about the future to turned off by politics since Mr. Obama’s election as president.

“People have been watching all that stimulus money go to Wall Street while their street is filled with their children shooting each other and their mothers and fathers out of work and hope,” {snip}

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Despite the high stakes, political handicappers predict a low voter turnout for the February primary, not just among blacks, but across Chicago’s electoral rainbow. {snip}

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