On Monday, the Illinois political world was turned upside down as the 13-term congressman Luis Gutierrez of the 4th district announced that he will not be running in next year’s elections.
On Tuesday, he announced at an official press conference that he will be endorsing current Cook County Commissioner Jesus Chuy Garcia for the open position.
Now, US Senator Bernie Sanders has officially endorsed Chuy Garcia for the position as well. Here is what Sanders said in a statement regarding his decision:
“‘Chuy’ Garcia is the right person at the right time for the work we have ahead of us. He is ready and willing to stand up and fight for the working families of Chicago and our nation and take on the powerful special interests who have far too much power over the economic and political life of our country. He is also an experienced legislator who has risen up the ladder of Chicago’s brawling politics. That makes him well groomed for jumping into the House’s rough and tumble political battles.”
Garcia echoed this sentiment in a statement of his own:
“I support America, a nation of rich cultural heritage and unmatched strength, whose founding fathers believed in building bridges, not walls. I champion opportunity for all as an ally of independent Sen. Bernie Sanders. I will do everything in my power to move the nation forward on these crucial issues.”
Sanders also backed Garcia in 2015 when he ran for mayor against Rahm Emanuel. Although he did not win, he did force a run-off, the first ever in the city of Chicago.
In addition to Garcia, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, the 35th Ward Alderman has also announced that he will be running to fill Gutierrez’s open seat.
1st Ward Alderman Proco Joe Moreno announced he will also be running for the position.
The deadline for signatures to be on the ballot for the Congressional seat is December 4th, which leaves little time for those that don’t already have political recognition to gain the required number of signatures to be eligible. This number shouldn’t be a problem for Garcia, Rosa, or Moreno.
The primary election for Illinois House of Representatives takes place March 20, 2018. The general election will be November 6, 2018.