CHICAGO—The city’s business community clearly loves Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but yesterday BOMA/Chicago had lunch with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, a politician who currently beats the mayor in polls, giving members the chance to learn a little about someone who may one day run City Hall. She was asked questions about county finances, its real estate, the pension crisis, and of course, her political future.

Preckwinkle began her speech by noting that although she ran for the county’s top job largely so she could influence its approach to public safety and public health, another priority was to institute a more business-like attitude toward county finances. Once elected, Preckwinkle first task was to close a $487 million budget gap, “and we did that in the first budget cycle without an increase in property taxes and even rolled back the sales tax increase, as we promised in the campaign.”

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