Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin (1st) and his challenger, Brandon Johnson, are in a virtual dead heat, according to suburban and city election data available online.
Johnson led Boykin by fewer than 400 votes, with results from just eight precincts in Cook County — three in the suburbs and five in Chicago — still outstanding as of 11:10 p.m.
During a short interview from his election night party at the Carleton of Oak Park, Boykin said that he was told by his campaign that he’s currently leading.
Boykin added that there were still a number of absentee ballots that needed to be counted and that some of the outstanding precincts were in Proviso Township, an area Boykin considers to be something of a stronghold for him. Boykin’s constituent office is located in Forest Park.
“It’s not going to be decided tonight; it will go until tomorrow,” Boykin said as he was leaving the hotel.
“I hope that the clerk’s office will count them quickly, and I hope that they get it right. I think it’s important to get it right,” he said. “We’ll see. I’m excited. I feel good.”
Boykin wouldn’t say if he would consider asking for a recount if he were still down, but within the minimum vote threshold, by tomorrow.
“I don’t even think about that,” he said. “It’s been a good race.”
Meanwhile, Johnson, a Chicago Public Schools teacher and union organizer who ran as a progressive alternative to Boykin, said that his campaign’s tracking of the ballots have him up enough votes to win.
“We feel good about the tally and it has us in the best position,” Johnson said in a midnight phone call, adding that Boykin had not called to concede.
Regardless, he said, “our focus is moving forward and getting prepared to govern. People obviously wanted something different in the 1st District and I’m glad to be part of that.”