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Toni Preckwinkle Drops Petition Challenge Against Susana Mendoza, but War of Words Continues

The candidates are viewed as two potential front runners in the mayoral race this February

Chicago mayoral candidate and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is dropping her challenge to the campaign petitions of Illinois Comptroller and fellow candidate Susana Mendoza.

Preckwinkle, whose campaign alleged that Mendoza didn’t have enough signatures to qualify for the February ballot, said that the now-dropped challenge is indicative of Mendoza being “unprepared to tackle the critical duties required of the office.”

“Being Mayor of Chicago is a tough job,” a Preckwinkle campaign spokesperson said. “That’s why there are high standards for getting on the ballot. While the campaign is dropping its challenge to Susana Mendoza’s petitions, Chicago voters should know that she just barely met the bar to be included on the ballot. This fits a pattern of Mendoza being unprepared to tackle the critical duties required of the office.”

Last week, Mendoza dismissed Preckwinkle’s challenge of her petitions, calling her opponent a “bully” in response to the challenge.  The Cook County Board of Elections dismissed claims by Preckwinkle’s campaign that Mendoza engaged in fraud when filing her petitions.

After the decision was announced, Mendoza’s campaign blasted the Preckwinkle petition challenge as “bogus” and a “complete waste” of taxpayer money.

“Today Susana’s opponent decided to drop her bogus petition challenge that she knew was nothing more than an attempt at a self-coronation and a complete waste of nearly $1 million in taxpayer dollars,” a campaign spokesperson said in a statement. “The boss of the party bosses desperately tried to keep Susana out of the race and she failed. “Her political games are exactly why Chicago needs a mayor focused on the next generation, instead of just the next four years.”

Preckwinkle’s campaign says that the challenge is indicative of her willingness to “take strong stands” and that she is going to demand accountability from public officials in the city.

“In this campaign, Toni is going to fight for this City and that includes holding every candidate accountable who fails to bring the bold leadership and vision needed to be Chicago’s mayor,” a spokesperson said.

This story originally appeared on Channel 5 News.

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