Just days after he was left off a sample ballot mailed out by the Cook County Democratic Party, assessor candidate Fritz Kaegi is speaking out about the omission.
Kaegi, who beat incumbent Joe Berrios in the primary election earlier this year, is expected to win the race this November, but it has not been an easy path to acceptance by his fellow Democrats.
On a sample ballot that went out listing the Cook County Democratic choices, Kaegi was not listed.
County party officials have offered two different explanations, saying that it is a long-standing tradition to only include candidates who were slated by the party, and that Kaegi did not pay to help defray the costs of the mailer.
"Fritz Kaegi will be on our subsequent mailings," Cook County Democratic Party Chairman Toni Preckwinkle said. "We've had a policy in the past of including people who have contributed to the mailings. Fritz has contributed to the mailing, and he'll be on the next one."
Kaegi disputes those explanations, saying that he was never asked if he was willing to contribute. He has subsequently contributed to the party, and will appear on a second mailer that will go out before the election.
Another issue that Kaegi has faced is cooperation from the man he is hoping to replace. The candidate says that the current Assessor has not been helping in the potential transition in the likely event that Kaegi wins the election.
"We're not getting much cooperation from our Assessor unfortunately,” he said. “We had a good breakfast with him back in May and we were optimistic about being able to deliver on some very important technology that's being implemented there, and we will be serving the interests of the county, if we can have that in place, but he's not helped our transition."
The Berrios team did not respond to a request for comment from NBC 5.
Kaegi is facing off against a Republican challenger, Joseph Paglia of Chicago, but is expected to win the race easily. The candidate that wins the election will take office on Dec. 3.