With Congressman Bobby Rush announcing that he will not be seeking re-election, his 1st district Congressional Seat is up for grabs. The list of potential candidates continues to grow as Democrats seek to replace him. Bobby Rush has stated that he plans to back a candidate at some point, saying, “I am going to present an individual who I would like to continue to the work I’ve done in the US Congress.”
With over 20 potential candidates, the first district includes the majority of the southside with over 65% of the district identifying as black American. The district has been represented by a black American since 1929. Seven candidates have filed papers with the Federal Election Commission with the intention to run including, Attorney Michael Thompson, Educator, Dee Nix, Community activist, Jahmal Cole and Teacher, Kirby Birgans.
Former Secretary of State Candidate, Pat Dowell also threw her name in the ring saying, “after careful consideration and many conversations with family and supporters, I am announcing that I will run for Congress in Illinois’ 1st District. Congressman Rush has created a legacy of fighting for others that I will strive to honor and uphold. I am grateful for the support people have given me in my run for Secretary of State. Recent events, both here in Illinois and across the country, have led me to decide to make this run for Congress. In Congress, I will work every day to ensure Chicago and all the communities of the 1st district receive their fair share of federal resources, safeguard voting rights and access, be a strong voice for gun control, protect Social Security and Medicare, and provide healthcare for all”.
Other candidates up for consideration include State Senators Jacqueline Collins, Elgie Sims, and Robert Peters. Alderman, Roderick Sawyer (6th) and Alderwomen Michelle Harris (8th), and Stephanie Coleman (16th) are also considering a congressional run according to Politico.