Photo by Joe Boyle
Cook County Commissioner John Daley (D-11th), who has served as Cook County Commissioner since 1992, will return for another term after a convincing victory over Republican Steven C. Graves on Tuesday night.
By Joe Boyle
John Daley will return for another term as Cook County Commissioner of the 11th District over his Republican opponent, Steven C. Graves, on Tuesday night.
Daley's victory followed a blue wave of Democratic dominance at the state level. However, Daley, who has been a Cook County Commissioner since 1992, said he did not take anything for granted entering this election.
"I've always had an opponent," said Daley, who is currently the chairman of the Finance and Audit committees for the board. "So, this is not new. We have had several changes to the County, but we were able to pass a balanced budget this year."
Daley, like most Democrats in Cook County and the state, scored a decisive win. With over 94 percent of the votes tallied in suburban Cook County, Daley had 17,957 votes (66.73 percent). Graves had 8,953 votes (33.27 percent). In the city with over 94 percent of the ballots cast, Daley had 17,957 votes (76.13 percent). Graves had 15,203 votes (23.87 percent).
Graves, who is a real estate broker, was running for political office for the first time.
Daley, 71, said that his experience working with Republicans as well as Democrats was beneficial in his victory. He also referred to his previous experience as a state representative from 1985 to 1989 and the Illinois Senate from 1989 to 1992 in which he said provided much needed legislative experience when he became a member of the Cook County Board.
Coming from a family with deep political roots, Daley said in an earlier interview that he entered politics because he enjoyed it. He said his father, Richard J. Daley, who served as mayor of Chicago from 1955 until his death on Dec. 20, 1976, never forced him into the political arena. His older brother, Richard M. Daley, was elected Chicago mayor in 1989 and served until he retired in 2011.
Bill Daley, 70, his younger brother, is among the many candidates for mayor of Chicago. John Daley said he would support his brother's candidacy despite the fact that Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is also running for mayor. Preckwinkle was unopposed in Tuesday's election.
"I have a very good working relationship with the president," Daley said. "I work very hard with the president. She understands that."
Looking forward to another term, Daley said that plenty of work has to be done. To cut budgetary costs, Daley looks at ideas to combine certain offices. He also likes to interact with the public because that feedback allows him to look into specific projects.
If Preckwinkle were to become mayor of Chicago, would Daley, who is still a resident of Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood, be interested in becoming Cook County Board president?
“It’s always something you would take a look at,” Daley said. "But if a vacancy would occur, then I would explore it at that time. But that’s a long way off and I would rather concentrate on working on what we have to do right now.”