'The race is not over,' says Boykin

Recount a possibility in 1st District commissioner race

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By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

Two days after the polls closed on the March 20 Primary Election, the race for the 1st District seat on the Cook County Board of Commissioners is still undecided. 

Even though Brandon Johnson declared victory Tuesday night, sitting Commissioner Richard Boykin said the next day that he will not concede until "every vote is counted" and that, even after that happens, he would be open to contesting the election results if he's still trailing by a close enough margin.  

As of March 22, Johnson led Boykin by 367 votes — the former having secured 24,273 votes with the latter garnering 23,906 votes. There are roughly two precincts in the city where votes still need to be counted, according to the Chicago Board of Elections. 

Boykin said on Wednesday that an unspecified number of absentee and provisional ballots, some from senior and nursing homes, still need to be counted. He said that he was told by the Cook County Clerk's office that the counting could take a few days.  

"I don't know how many mail-in and provisional ballots are outstanding, but they could be upwards of a few thousand," Boykin said, adding that the number of outstanding ballots makes Johnson's lead somewhat tenuous. 

"If we get to within 100 or 150 votes, we can demand a recount," Boykin said. "But right now, this race is not over. We need to give the process a chance to work and let the people's voices be heard. To concede and not have those votes counted erodes democracy."  

When reached on March 21, an official with the Cook County Clerk David Orr's office requested some time to provide details about the number of outstanding ballots and how long it might take officials to count them. As of Thursday morning, the office had not gotten back with those details.

During his election night party in Chicago, Johnson 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, adding that "our focus is moving forward and getting prepared to govern."

When asked on March 21 whether he was surprised at Tuesday night's results, Boykin instead took to describing Johnson's campaign, which he called "very negative and deceptive." 

Boykin referenced "$500,000 in negative advertising calling me a Republican" and hundreds of fake campaign signs that described him as a Republican that appeared across the 1st District the weekend before the election. 

Boykin said he doesn't know "how many people were confused by the signs and decided to vote against me." 

On March 20, Johnson said that "people obviously wanted something different in the 1st District and I'm glad to be part of that."

Email: michael@oakpark.com

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Reader Comments

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Comment Policy

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: March 24th, 2018 12:55 PM

@ Dwyer: The question asked is to promote some type of thought. All questions have merit. I am responsible for my questions, which is like being responsible for the wind. And as far as "investigate" there is a difference between checking a resource and an investigation.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: March 24th, 2018 12:17 AM

Before Johnson gets too excited about his mandate, he should realize that here in Oak Park when there is a close election they form a committee to IMAGINE a vastly different result from what the vote results were.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: March 23rd, 2018 5:17 PM

And yet, Brian, if the Johnson campaign has spent anything near half a million dollars in advertising, let alone negative advertising, it must, under Illinois law, be reported to the ISBE. That said, you don't have to wear a badge to look into thinks your curious about. You asked the question. Was it rhetorical? If not, take responsibility for answering it.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: March 23rd, 2018 3:29 PM

@ Dwyer; If I wanted to investigate I would have remained a police officer I don investigate why there is a dawn to every day.. I want to reasonably speculate that no person seeking election would state on any form that they spent $500,000 in negative adds against their opponent . I want to speculate why elected officials spend hundreds of dollars to get a state elected office that $70,000 a year.

Steven Woltman  

Posted: March 23rd, 2018 1:07 PM

@ Tom Coffman, No, I don't hate kids. Raised two, and have paid taxes (lots of taxes) to my suburban school's tax base for over 40 years as a homeowner. Why should I, or anyone in the suburbs, pay for the City's?

Tom Coffman  

Posted: March 23rd, 2018 9:26 AM

Boykin can go back to directly representing the pop companies, like he has all along. Whats so bad about supporting the CPS? You hate kids or something?

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: March 22nd, 2018 7:30 PM

You were a cop for 30 years, Brian. Investigate.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: March 22nd, 2018 5:52 PM

@ Dwyer: Well, is the $500,000 expenditure on his public record D2s?

Steven Woltman  

Posted: March 22nd, 2018 5:18 PM

I'm surprised by support of Johnson by Oak Park. Boykin has been an active participant in suburban cook county during his term and was ever present as a board member. Johnson's victory speech gave a shout out to Karen Lewis and talked about this great win for Chicago. Having Preckwinkle's hand-picked sycophant placed in this position, and his clear relationship with the CTU, I forsee much higher property taxes taking seed in the future. Twas a real loss for us suburbanites.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: March 22nd, 2018 4:42 PM

Well, he could just look at Johnson's D2s, Brian. Public record.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: March 22nd, 2018 3:42 PM

"500,000 in negative advertising calling me a Republican" said Boykin. the question is how does he know he cost of the campaign against him? Did Boykin run a negative campaign against Johnson, therefore Boykin knew of the costs.

Nick A Binotti  

Posted: March 22nd, 2018 12:38 PM

Boykin lost because he lost Oak Park by 2,000 votes. The only reason Boykin won in 2014 is because Sercye, Oak Park's overwhelming choice, did so poorly in Chicago and Proviso. Boykin still lost to the ex-con Isaac ''Ike'' Carothers in Chicago back then, so his hold on this position was always tenuous at best.

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