Cook County Board President Todd Stroger is running third behind Dorothy Brown and Toni Preckwinkle, according to a Chicago Tribune poll.
"This is just more of the same from the paper that has set out to defeat Todd Stroger," campaign manager Vince Williams said, dismissing the poll. "We will win."
Stroger has been under fire for fighting to preserve a sales tax increase he championed that commissioners eventually were able to partially repeal because of a change in state law.
The poll of 502 likely voters showed Stroger with 14 percent support compared to 29 percent for Brown and 20 percent for Preckwinkle. Another candidate, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District chief Terrence O'Brien, got 11 percent.
Friday morning, Brown was quick to capitalize on the favorable numbers.
"What that tells me is that people are looking for a proven leader," Brown said. "I’ve said along that people are looking for someone that’s qualified because Cook County is in a financial and mismanagement crisis. We can no longer business as usual."
The poll also showed 26 percent of voters were still undecided in the race. The poll was conducted from Dec. 2 until Tuesday and had an error margin of 4.4 percentage points.
"We are exactly where we expected to be at this point in our campaign," Preckwinkle said about the numbers. "We entered this race 11 months ago and have been building positive momentum since."
As for O'Brien, he conceded that voters don't know him well but he plans to change that in the coming weeks.
“We believe our numbers will move significantly once the voters get to know my record of accomplishment at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and when voters start to digest my message.”