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Boykin's wise choice

Opinion: Editorials

September 15th, 2015 1:51 PM

There are two kinds of politicians — well actually there are more than two, but for our purposes today there are two kinds. One is the politician who falls into an office and hangs on for dear life, a good pension, and the hope that the conference room will be named for them when they stroke out. Then there are the politicians with ants in their pants who win an office and can't wait to find a rung and start climbing.

District 1 voters suffered through the dismal, endless years of Cook County Commissioner Earlean Collins' somnambulant performance. Invisible. Silent. Bereft of a notion within a district desperate for help in the two areas — health and justice — most particularly under the jurisdiction of county government. With her multiple government pensions fully vested, Collins finally, thankfully, chose retirement.

After a lively campaign to replace her, West Side and near west suburban voters chose Richard Boykin as commissioner. And, lo and behold, after a fascinating and rambunctious nine months in office, Oak Parker Boykin announced his hard look at a run for the U.S. Senate. When he departed on his requisite "listening tour" of the state in August, we saw it as a given that by mid-September he would announce his gift to the world in the form of his candidacy.

So we are surprised, and we are pleased, that instead Boykin announced last week that what he heard as he circled the state was that he needed to spend more time building his credentials as a county commissioner. 

We agree. And so long as Boykin does not look at more time here as penance, we continue to believe he has a great deal to offer. He is articulate, energetic and fully focused on the issues that matter most: justice reform, gun violence, mental health, jobs.

Glad to have you back Commissioner Boykin.

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