WTIP file photo

County board prepares to seat fifth commissioner as special election nears

The Cook County Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting Feb. 11 to swear in the new commissioner elected to represent District 1 on the county board.

Ballots for the special election to determine who will be the next District 1 Cook County commissioner were mailed out in January. The official date for the special election is Tuesday, Feb. 9.

Two candidates will appear on the ballot: Paula Marie Powell and Bob Svaelson.

During a meeting of the county board Jan. 26, Board Chair Dave Mills again emphasized a sense of urgency to get the full board in place as soon as possible. The election results will likely be certified Feb. 10, according to Cook County Auditor Braidy Powers. The special meeting to swear in either Powell or Svaelson will take place the next day on Feb. 11.

The reason for the special election dates back to June 2020 when now former District 1 Cook County Commissioner Bobby Deschampe won an election to be the next chairperson for the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

Deschampe’s term on the county board did not expire until 2022, which meant there needed to be a special election to fill the vacant seat for District 1.

The audio below is an interview with WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs speaking with County Administrator James Joerke. Topics discussed include an update on the special election and the special meeting scheduled for Feb. 11, an update on discussion among various community leaders through the joint-powers committee and other local news.