Toni Preckwinkle is a Chicago Alderman in the 4th Ward and is the Democratic Committeeman for the 4th Ward. In 1991 Preckwinkle and four others challenged Timothy C. Evans for the 4th ward alderman’s position. In the first round of voting on February 26, 1991 and after two defeats in 1983 and 1987, she won nearly one-third popular vote in the ward by winning 20 of 58 precincts (all in the Hyde Park-Kenwood community). Evans and Preckwinkle again advanced to a runoff election, as they had in 1983, but this time the majority of the eliminated candidates endorsed Preckwinkle. On April 2, 1991, Preckwinkle performed better in the northern part of the ward and was elected by a 109 vote margin, defeating the 17-year incumbent alderman Evans.
Preckwinkle supported Barack Obama early in his political career, endorsing him in his campaigns for Illinois Senate in 1995–6, U.S. House in 1999–2000, and U.S. Senate in 2003–4. She was among those who encouraged Barack Obama to make his first run for the United States Congress in 2000, and she was an early supporter when he ran in 2004. When Obama later became a United States Senator following the 2004 United States Senate election in Illinois, Preckwinkle had a large say in his Illinois State Senate replacement. She became Obama’s Alderman when he moved from Hyde Park to South Kenwood in June, 2005.
According to a New Yorker cover story article in July 2008, Preckwinkle had since become “disenchanted” with Obama. The article’s author suggested that Preckwinkle’s “grievances” against Obama were motivated by Preckwinkle’s perception that Obama was disloyal. Preckwinkle was still an Obama delegate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Preckwinkle is also the Democratic Committeeman for the 4th Ward,a position within the Cook County Democratic Party. Each of the 50 wards of the city and the 30 townships of Cook County elect a Democratic Committeeman to the Cook County Central Committee. These committeemen form the official governing body of the Cook County Democratic Party which, among other purposes, endeavors to attract, endorse, and support qualified Democratic candidates for office.
View Chicago Neighborhoods — Kenwood and Hyde Park in a larger map
Hyde Park, located on the South Side of the City of Chicago, in Cook County, Illinois, United States and seven miles (11 km) south of the Chicago Loop, is a Chicago neighborhood and one of 77 Chicago community areas. Hyde Park is home to the University of Chicago, the Hyde Park Art Center, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Oriental Institute and the Renaissance Society. Hyde Park is formerly the name of a Township that included numerous other neighborhoods that have all been annexed by the city of Chicago.