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Cook County water district chief Kari Steele will challenge Assessor Fritz Kaegi – Crain’s Chicago Business

Kari Steele, the head of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, is expected to announce she’ll be taking on Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi in the Democratic primary in June. 

Steele, who has served on the water reclamation district since 2012 and became president in 2019, is a chemist by training. She worked at both the Jardine Water Purification Plant as a water chemist and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District as a water sampler and lab technician, according to her water reclamation district bio. Sources say Steele has been calling fellow elected officials to gauge support in recent weeks.

A source close to Steele’s campaign says an announcement is expected Monday. She is married to media personality Maze Jackson, who hosted a well-known radio program on WVON-AM.  

Last month incumbent Kaegi announced he would be running for re-election, at an event flanked by supporters including U.S. Reps. Robin Kelly, D-Matteson; Marie Newman, D-Chicago; and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, D-Chicago, as well as Illinois House Black Caucus Chair Kam Buckner, D-Chicago.

This week, Kaegi also announced a slate of endorsements, including Steele’s water district colleagues Cam Davis, Mariyana Spyropoulos and Josina Morita. Other Kaegi endorsements include several aldermen, as well as several Democratic committee people, suburban mayors and Cook County commissioners.

Steele’s coming announcement was first reported in a tweet from WMAQ-TV/Channel-5 reporter Mary Ann Ahern.

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