Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown Won't Seek Re-Election

Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown will not run for re-election to the post she's held for nearly two decades, she announced Wednesday. 

"This is the right time," Brown, who was first elected in 2000, said. "I'm healthy, I'm vibrant. I'm in a position to be able to do something else with my life." 

Last year, Brown entered the race for mayor of Chicago before incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that he would not seek re-election. Brown was ultimately removed from the ballot in January after losing a challenge to her nominating petition signatures.

Brown and her office have been under federal investigation for years. A former employee pleaded guilty in 2016 to lying to a federal grand jury about the sale of jobs and promotions within the clerk’s office.

Months before, the FBI seized Brown's cell phone as part of an investigation into a 2011 land deal involving a campaign donor in which she and her husband made thousands of dollars. In April, a jury convicted another former aide to Brown of lying during sworn grand jury testimony in 2015 and 2016 on that land deal.

Neither Brown nor her husband have been charged with any criminal wrongdoing. She said Wednesday that she believed the investigations would not have had an impact on her chances at another term and that she's convinced she would have won re-election. 

Brown's announcement came just one day before the Cook County Democratic Party was expected to slate candidates for countywide offices, including hers, in the upcoming primary election.

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