Village President Anan Abu-Taleb says his endorsement of Blake Sercye for 1st District Cook County Commissioner was not a switch, despite what Sercye’s rival Richard Boykin says on his campaign website.

Boykin listed Abu-Taleb as having endorsed his candidacy on his campaign website earlier this month, but the village president said he never committed to the candidate.

Abu-Taleb said he met with Boykin in December about an endorsement but told the candidate he needed time to consider it. About a month later, Abu-Taleb said he was approached by Boykin at a cocktail party, but the candidate mistook his “polite gesture” as an endorsement.

“I met with him later, and I told him that I needed more time and that it should be understood that he didn’t have my endorsement,” he said, adding, “I do like Boykin, but I didn’t like being pressured.”

Asked in an interview about the endorsement, Boykin said he felt Abu-Taleb had committed, and he wished the village president had given him a courtesy call before changing his endorsement to Sercye. 

Abu-Taleb appeared last week with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and other officials to endorse Sercye.

He said he supported Sercye because he has “fresh energy” and questions “the status quo about the future and looking forward.”

Other candidates in the race include Isaac “Ike” Carothers, Ron Lawless and Brenda Smith.

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