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Retired MP Bobby Rush endorses Karin Norington-Reaves in the primary for his seat in the House of Representatives

WASHINGTON – Always anchored on the city’s South Side, Chicago’s 1st Congressional District is one of the nation’s most historic and has produced famous black elected officials for decades, from City Hall to the House of Representatives to the Senate to the White House.

MP Bobby Rush, D-Ill., Who will step down from Congress next year after 15 terms in office, quoted the political giants from the district – Oscar DePriest; Willam Dawson; Ralph Metcalfe; Harold Washington; Charles Hayes; Carol Moseley Braun and Barack Obama – in confirmation of Karin Norington-Reaves as his successor.

Rush, whose political career ranged from a 1960s radical with the Black Panthers to a councilor and Congress, is part of this historic appeal – a list that, as he noted at the Confirmation Press Conference, never a woman.

Rush’s endorsement of Norington-Reaves – on vacation from the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership where she is CEO – was in the works before announcing on Sunday. It gives their democratic primary campaign a significant boost.

The June 28 prefix in Illinois is still taking shape, and the best contestant yet is Ald. Pat Dowell, 3rd, who got off to a quick start moving from the Democratic primary for the Illinois Secretary of State to the suddenly open seat in Congress after Rush announced he would retire from Congress after 30 years.

Rush endorsed Norington-Reaves and spoke about the district’s historic political figures – DePriest was the first black member of Congress to be elected in the 20th century after a 28-year drought, as well as the first black member from the north.

“This is the legacy, this is the narrative that I have tried to nurture for the past 30 years and I am so proud to be able to pass this tale on to someone I know beyond a doubt.” that priceless tale, that deep and inspiring tale, “said Rush.

Karin Norington-Reaves is on leave from the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, where she works as CEO. On Thursday, US MP Bobby Rush, D-Ill., Announced that she has his support in the race to succeed him. Rush announced earlier this month that he will not seek another term in Congress. Ashlee Rezin / Sun-Times

Rush and Norington-Reaves first met in 2014 after a local teacher, Betty Howard, was accidentally shot and killed in Chatham. Norington-Reaves also worked with Rush to set up the Chatham Education and Workforce Center, 640 E. 79th St., in the district. The center opened in January 2021.

“I stand here truly honored and humble and honest, a little overwhelmed by the significance of this moment,” Norington-Reaves said at the approval announcement conference at Hyatt Place Chicago-South / University Medical Center, 5225 S. Harper Avenue.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to carry on the historic and impressive legacy of the First District leaders,” said Norington-Reaves, who was nervous. Rush, 75, pushed Norington-Reaves, 52, a Chatham resident who speaks fluent Spanish, to remind her to reach out to Spanish-speaking voters in the district.

“And while I am grateful for the Congressman’s support and welcome the support of other leaders in the days and weeks to come, let me get it straight. I take absolutely nothing for granted. It is my responsibility to get in touch with people, knock and knock on doors, listen and understand the issues that really move the 1st district. “

The district is so democratic that the winner of the June primary is virtually guaranteed to win the November general election.

Rush seemed keen to pass his baton on to Norington-Reaves, and he raised his voice as he spoke of his total “commitment” to her candidacy and spelled the word “TOTAL” to underline his point.

US MP Bobby Rush, D-Ill., Collects signatures with Karin Norington-Reaves near East 53rd Street and South Harper Avenue in Hyde Park on Thursday after Rushing her as her successor in Chicago's 1st Congressional District had advocated.

US MP Bobby Rush, D-Ill., Collects signatures for nomination petitions with Karin Norington-Reaves on Thursday near 53rd Street and Harper Avenue in Hyde Park, after Rush succeeded her in the running for Jan. Congressional District in Chicago. Ashlee Rezin / Sun-Times

Although she wasn’t a political freshman – Norington-Reaves finished third in 2007 when she was in 6th for the city council. Act to have a black-majority population. She comes to this race with 15 years more experience navigating local politics and the skill to have the Rush advocacy from the get-go.

The Norington-Reaves-run agency that manages federal funds for employment and training was founded in 2012 by then Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Chairman Toni Preckwinkle.

The Cook County Mayor and Chairman of the Board have offices on opposite sides of the town hall / county building.

US MP Bobby Rush, D-Ill., Who will step down from Congress next year after 15 terms in office, hugs Karin Norington-Reaves after supporting her in the race for his successor on Thursday.

US MP Bobby Rush, D-Ill., Who will step down from Congress next year after 15 terms in office, hugs Karin Norington-Reaves on Thursday after supporting her in the race to succeed him in the 1st Congressional District. Ashlee Rezin / Sun-Times

Asked about her political skills by a reporter, Norington-Reaves said, “I’ve definitely been on both sides of the fifth floor for over a decade. Anyone who can do that can certainly do it. “

Petitions for the June 28 primary in Illinois were accepted Thursday; Only 400 valid signatures are required to get on the voting slip for the House area code.

The new 1st Congressional District – which was re-mapped after the 2020 census – is huge as it goes south and west past Cook County and extends into suburbs, rural and smaller towns. Although most of the voters are in the northern tip, the district stretches south to Bourbonnais and west to Channahon.

US MP Bobby Rush's 1st District boundaries are purple and highlighted.

The new boundaries of US Congressman Bobby Rush’s 1st District are purple and highlighted. Google Maps

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