Toni Preckwinkle

Mendoza Calls Preckwinkle a ‘Bully' Over Petition Challenges

Calling her opponent a “bully,” Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza decried the petition challenges filed by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle as “shameful.”

The petitions, filed by Preckwinkle against four candidates, were allowed to proceed by the Chicago Board of Elections on Friday, but the board dismissed claims by Preckwinkle that Mendoza’s campaign engaged in fraud when filing the petitions.

“It is my opinion, based on prior decisions of this board, that this fraud allegation is insufficiently plead,” hearing officer Barbara Goodman said.

After the hearing, Mendoza called on Preckwinkle to withdraw the petition challenges.

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“I’m going to stand up to the big bully in this race,” she said. “(I call on her) to withdraw her challenge of the other four women of color in this race.”

Preckwinkle’s campaign said that the candidate has no intention of withdrawing her challenges, issuing a statement that said “everyone else needs to follow the same rules to get on the ballot.”

“This isn’t our first rodeo,” Keri-Lyn Krafthefer said. “We also have alleged individual line item challenges to those signatures, and we will still be able to prove they are deficient.”

Mendoza says that she is confident her petitions will withstand any challenge.

“There is no fraud,” she said. “We’re going to have more than enough signatures to share our vision with voters and Chicagoans.”

The two sides will gather before the Board of Elections again on Sunday, with hopes of getting the questions about Mendoza’s eligibility for the ballot settled.

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