Home / News / Tribune endorsements for U.S. Congress in 1st, 4th, 6th, 7th districts

Tribune endorsements for U.S. Congress in 1st, 4th, 6th, 7th districts


The Tribune editorial board is endorsing both the Democratic and Republican sides of the contested primary races for the U.S. Congress in Illinois. This is Part One.

Region 1

Incumbent Democrat Jonathan L. Jackson is running unopposed on his side in this famously Democratic district that covers most of Chicago’s South Side and continues southwest to Joliet.

On the controversial Republican side, the contest is between Marcus Lewis, a 65-year-old retiree who has never held elected office but has run for Congress seven times, and primary candidate Montelle L. Gaji, 41. -She is a law student and told us that she is both a cancer survivor and a disabled woman.

Lewis is an enthusiastic supporter of Donald Trump and prefers his rhetoric and all-caps style of communication. He says he doesn’t believe Joe Biden was duly elected president in 2020, which is disqualifying for us. He also supports “mass deportation” of immigrants and opposes aid to Ukraine. We think Lewis is unqualified and would pose a potential danger to the health of our democracy if elected.

The fact that Gaji is clearly the stronger of the two candidates doesn’t mean much. While he does not support aid to Ukraine (or any other foreign country), he at least accepts the results of the 2020 election. But he doesn’t even support sensible gun control.

However, many Republicans will like his steadfast stance on avoiding unnecessary spending, and we at least have the feeling that he will fight hard for the people of the South Side and those with special needs. “I would involve people more,” he told us. “I would be a contact person to make sure they feel like they have a safe space to express themselves.” Gaji approved.

Region 4

The race in this majority-Latino district, which includes Chicago’s Brighton Park, West Elsdon and South Lawndale neighborhoods, as well as suburbs such as Burbank, Berwyn, Cicero, Brookfield, LaGrange Park, Northlake and Melrose Park, is among the incumbents. (and former mayoral candidate) Jesús ‘Chuy’ García, 67, and Chicago alderman Raymond A. Lopez, 15, 45.

They both made history. A member of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, García was the first Mexican American from the Midwest to serve in Congress. Lopez claims the title of being the first openly gay Mexican American elected in Illinois.

García brought home plenty of bacon for his hometown: $8.1 billion through the CARES Act, $18.6 billion through the American Rescue Plan, $17 billion through the Infrastructure and Jobs Act, and $18 billion through the Inflation Mitigation Act. provided an additional $37.6 million for 25 community projects in the region. García told us he is “working hard with the mayors of the suburban community” and plans to continue serving, especially in the areas of “infrastructure and environmental justice.”

His biggest priority in the new term? “Economic opportunity,” he said, but also flagged many other concerns, including women’s reproductive rights. “Public safety is a concern in the city and suburbs, and people want us to continue to push for common-sense gun regulation,” García said, “and I will be a part of that.”

Lopez, 45, has been involved in Chicago politics on the Southwest Side since he was 18. He also served as a senior executive at Southwest Airlines for 12 years; That’s not something many congressmen can claim. He has become a thorn in the side of Mayors Lori Lightfoot and Brandon Johnson. He is known as one of the smartest and most prepared members of the City Council, but he is also known as someone who enjoys attention (his nickname is “Showpez”).

Lopez took a different stance from García on immigration reform, claiming that the incumbent government’s support for “open borders” was hurting Mexican Americans already waiting in line. In general, Lopez supports more centrist positions than García (who is strikingly unsupportive of Israel) and has values ​​that are very compatible with ours. So Lopez is in favor of the USA helping Ukraine and Israel; He has strongly opposed Hamas and Vladimir Putin’s aggression; He believes in bipartisan immigration reform and supports reproductive freedoms.

Democratic voters in the 4th District therefore face a difficult choice: García, whose positions on committees such as the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee helped bring federal dollars to his district, but who is immensely experienced and likeable, is nearing the end of his life. He has moved on from Lopez, an independent-minded moderate who had a notably lackluster performance when he ran for Mayor of Chicago last year and is likely to shake things up both at home and in Washington.

Lopez, who now claims that he was once a grassroots candidate like Garcia, said he knows he is “not everyone’s cup of tea” but that it is important for moderate politicians to learn to “shout louder than the crazy people” on both political and political issues. extremes. “As Americans, we must focus on what brings us together,” he said. “Apparently it’s easier to be part of a gang than to be an independent thinker.”

With all due respect to García, whose long-term service we admire, this time we trust Lopez with the warning that his personal ambition is kept in check and that he is resigned to serve, expecting him to develop a more measured and deliberative approach to leadership. district residents. We think he knows this: “The people of this district want a pragmatic Congress member,” he said. “They want an effective leader in Congress who has the ability to speak not only to his own caucus but also to the opposition.”

We wish him success in this regard. Lopez confirmed

District 6

Illinois’ 6th District includes all or part of the Chicago neighborhoods of Beverly, Mount Greenwood, Garfield Ridge, and Clearing, as well as all or part of the Cook County communities of Orland Hills, Western Springs, Orland Park, Palos Hills, Hickory Hills, Chicago It covers the part. Ridge, Bridgeview, Willow Springs, Indian Head Park, Tinley Park and Evergreen Park. The Democratic primary will be between incumbent Sean Casten and challengers Mahnoor Ahmad and Charles M. Hughes.

The impressive Casten, 52, is a former clean energy entrepreneur who answers our detailed policy questions with thoughtful, moderate, and intelligent answers. He is a true believer and an important national leader when it comes to the dangers of climate change, which he sees as the root of many social problems. Casten is not a man who values ​​data, follows scientific findings, and simply parrots party positions. “My priorities in Congress include advancing economic opportunity, enacting women’s reproductive rights, creating safer, more affordable and healthier communities, fixing the broken immigration system, restoring environmental justice regulations, and protecting the right to the ballot box,” he said. .” All good things.

Ahmad, 33, is a public health administrator who certainly does not have a similar level of political experience. His progressive positions include belief in an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. He describes himself as a “vocal advocate for the protection of young immigrants brought to the United States as children.” Hughes, 60, works as an operations technician for gas company NICOR, which campaigns for increased social security checks for the elderly and opposes sensible gun control. He runs to Casten’s right.

Casten approved.

Zone 7

A widely watched race is taking place in District 7, which includes all or parts of the Loop, Armor Square, Fuller Park, Near West Side, East and West Garfield Park, North Lawndale, West Englewood, Near South, Austin, Humboldt. All or part of the Cook County communities of Park, Englewood, Near North, West Town, Douglas, Grand Boulevard and Chicago Lawn, as well as Oak Park, Westchester, Broadview, Bellwood, Maywood, Forest Park Hillside and La Grange Park.

On the Democratic side of the list is veteran congressman Danny K. Davis, who was first elected to Congress in 1996 and is now 82 years old and running for what is certainly his last time. We have supported Davis, who works hard for his constituents, many times before.

Her opponents are Melissa Conyears-Ervin, Kouri Marshall, Nikhil Bhatia and Kina Collins.

The Tribune editorial board determined that Conyears-Ervin, 48, a former member of the Illinois House of Representatives, is unfit to serve in her current job as City Treasurer. Our view is that the city’s Ethics Board found that Conyears-Ervin violated Chicago’s ethics code by firing two employees shortly after they raised internal concerns about his actions, particularly after he asked the employees to perform personal tasks and errands. because he said there was probable cause to determine that he had done so. in taxpayer-funded time for him. Tribune reports also revealed that Conyears-Ervin pressured BMO bank to give her and her husband, Ald., a lover’s loan to the church’s pastor. Jason Ervin, 28th, agrees. BMO’s holding of city deposits clearly demonstrates a conflict of interest.

The City Treasurer’s office does not exist for the personal benefit of the office holder.

So clearly we don’t believe Conyears-Ervin is a fit for Congress. Given the lack of specific explanations for these allegations, at least beyond general claims of ethical integrity, we urge our readers to look elsewhere.

Kina Collins, 32, a staunch progressive born and raised in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood, describes herself as a “lifelong activist and nationally recognized gun violence prevention and health care advocate.” She also challenged Davis in 2022 and lost the Democratic primary that year, though not by much. We appreciate his persistence despite our disagreements and his comprehensive and logical answers to our questions, but he does not have the level of experience comparable to Davis. Bhatia, a longtime Chicago Public Schools teacher with only a limited campaign operation, is similarly inexperienced, but we appreciate his focus on public safety.

That leaves Marshall, 41, who served as deputy director of agency personnel and administrative appointments in Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office, a post he no longer holds.

Davis remains a vital institution, and at this point we see him as the best option for the Democratic primary.

Davis was approved.


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