Kaegi Upsets Berrios In Democratic Assessor's Race

Bob Roberts
March 20, 2018 - 8:09 pm
Fritz Kaegi

Fritz Kaegi

Categories: 

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Embattled Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios has lost his bid to run for another term, to Democratic challenger Fritz Kaegi.

With 90 percent of precincts in, Kaegi had 45 percent of the vote (287,588 ballots), compared to Berrios' 34 percent (215,771 votes).

Numerous media outlets report Berrios has conceded.

"You've sent a profound message that we want - we demand - that we can have ethics, transparency, and fairness in our politics. You have proved that this change is possible," Kaegi said.  "Good government is not a fantasy or a pipe dream in Cook County. We don't believe that. We refuse to believe that."

It's a stunning defeat for the once politically powerful Berrios, chair of the Cook County Democratic Party. Controversy has plagued the assessor's office over allegations that influential the property-tax assessment system favors the influential and wealthy. Crains Chicago Business recently found that many of the Loop's most prominent buildings were assessed far below their recent sale prices. Berrios has denied any wrongdoing.

Also running for the Democratic nomination for assessor was Andrea Raila, who was temporarily kicked off the ballot following a challenge to her petitions. An appeals court let her back on, but there was word Tuesday that notices went out to polling places saying -- incorrectly -- that votes for her would not count.

She said there should be an investigation. It's not clear how that may affect Tuesday's election results.

The Chicago Election Board Jim Allen said there was no conspiracy to deny Andrea Raila a fair shot in the County's Assessor race. She was restored to the ballot Thursday. 

"We had already loaded our election supply carriers," Allen said.

Raila had 20.59 percent of the vote. She wants a new election and a Justice Department probe.