CHICAGO — More than six months before the primary, the race is on in two important Democratic-held Congressional districts.
Springfield redrew districts surrounding Chicago — pitting freshman Congresswoman Marie Newman against Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. Instead of running against him, Newman has decided to take on Congressman Sean Casten in the new 6th District.
Both rising Democratic stars sound ready for combat.
“Last time I checked I ran in the 6th District, I won the 6th District, they redistrict every 10 years and I still live in the 6th district,” Casten said.
Backed by national interest groups, Newman defeated well-connected Congressman Dan Lipinski in the 2020 primary.
“It’s a new seat. It’s the composite of I believe 7 districts of which I’m the plurality of 41 percent of current IL-3 is inside the new Illinois-6,” Newman said.
She’s again counting on support from influential unions and interest groups as well as local politicians.
Casten, flexing his muscles, is out with this extensive list of his high-profile backers.
“44 locals, ranging from folks at the forest preserve to elected state senators and reps, county board members, local activists, to the founder of Personal Pac, who’ve all endorsed me for the upcoming race,” Casten said.
Analysts say that the new 6th District could favor Democrats more than the old boundaries. To create the seat, Springfield map makers threw Newman in Garcia’s heavily Latino turf.
Another red hot race has influential Chicago Alderman Gilbert Villegas facing State Rep. Delia Ramirez in a new open seat district drawn to give Latinos a second representative in Washington.
Ramirez is an assistant majority leader in the Illinois House.
“I’m a daughter of this district. When I talk to seniors, like I just did an hour ago, I am them and they are me. I’m rooted in this district. Always have lived here,” State rep. Delia Ramirez said. “I’ve served here since I was 17 years of age. And in three years in the state legislature, we’ve done some good work and we’ve got to take it to D.C.”
Villegas heads Chicago’s Latino Caucus.
“As a Marine who fought for this country, as a union truck driver, as a City Council leader — I understand the challenges that are facing everyday Chicagoans and more importantly, the every day residents that make up this district,” Villegas said.
This week, Catalina Lauf, a Trump supporter, entered the GOP primary for the 11th District. She hopes to win and take on Democratic Congressman Bill Foster in the general election.