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Cook County Democrats make history by selecting first woman and first African American to lead party

Former Chairman Berrios named Chair Emeritus

The Cook County Democrats made history earlier this week by selecting the first woman and first African American to lead the largest Democratic party in the Midwest. A unanimous vote by all eighty wards and township committeemen elected Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle as the new Chair.

Former Cook County Chairman Joseph Berrios was named Chair Emeritus for his numerous accomplishments during his tenure — among them was ensuring greater representation of women and people of color in government, including increasing the number of minority candidates by 76 percent and slating twice as many women for countywide office.

“It is an exciting time for Democrats in Cook County, this cycle alone we won 22 out of 26 candidates. I am thrilled about the future of the Party under the leadership of Chair Preckwinkle,” said executive director Jacob Kaplan.

The Party also selected a new executive board:

Lou Lang – Niles Township – Executive Vice Chair

Mike Rodriguez – 22nd Ward – Executive Vice Chair

Frank Zuccarelli – Thornton Township –  First Vice-Chairman

Carrie Austin – 34th Ward – City Vice-Chairman

Don Harmon – Oak Park Township – Suburban Vice-Chairman

Laura Murphy – Maine Township – Secretary

Ariel Reboyras – 30th Ward – Treasurer

Karen Yarbrough – Proviso Township – Sergeant-At-Arms

Newly-elected Cook County Democratic Chair Toni Preckwinkle said, “I’m grateful for the support of my fellow committeemen in selecting me as their next party Chair. I look forward to the opportunity to work with the party to further strengthen and advance its mission. As a lifelong Democrat, I am committed to ensure that the Party is a resource, not just for candidates and their campaigns but to the communities we all serve.”

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