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Claypool Not Running

By Kevin Robinson in News on Jun 19, 2009 2:00PM

2009_6_claypool.JPG In a surprise move, Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool announced yesterday afternoon that he would not be running for County Board President. Claypool, who ran as a reformer against John Stroger in the 2006 Democratic primary, said in an email to supporters that he has "decided not to be a candidate again for Cook County board president. Nor will I be a candidate for a third term on the board." He has also canceled his June 30 fundraiser, and "will be returning all checks." In an early May poll, Claypool was ahead of both incumbent Todd Stroger and 4th Ward Alderman Toni Preckwinkle.

In announcing his decision to leave Cook County politics, Claypool cited his role as Chief Operating Officer at Rise Health. "President Obama is poised to finally pass national health care reform. But to achieve the goal of universal access, quality and affordability, it will take both government reform and private sector innovation. I have come to believe so much in the potential of our ideas that I have chosen to remain in my role as chief operating officer," he said in the email.

Todd Stroger has indicated that he intends to seek re-election. Toni Preckwinkle, who launched her new website earlier yesterday, will challenge him in the primary. With Paul Vallas staying in New Orleans for the time being, there is no clear candidate for the Republican primary. The election is early next year.