IL-07: Davis Leaving Congress For Local Politics

Time to add another district to the Open Seat Watch. From the Chicago Sun-Times:

“I’m in,” declared West Side Congressman Danny Davis by phone from Washington on Friday morning.

Davis had worked late the night before on President Obama’s health-care bill, which passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee just before midnight. But as much as Davis loves policy work, as important as his seat on the Ways and Means committee is to Illinois, after six terms he’s coming home.

“I’m in” means he’s leaving Congress to run for president of the Cook County Board in 2010, a position now occupied by the embattled Todd Stroger, who says he’s running too.

There’s no danger of Davis’ heavily African-American, D+35 district of ever flipping to the GOP, so the action here will be in the Democratic primary. Davis’s former Chief of Staff Richard Boykin has already expressed his interest, but CQ recently identified state Reps. LaShawn Ford and Karen Yarbrough, state Sen. Rickey Hendon, and Aldermen Dorothy Tillman and Ed Smith as possibilities.

RaceTracker wiki: IL-07

19 thoughts on “IL-07: Davis Leaving Congress For Local Politics”

  1. As someone who has been a constituent and watched Davis’ career, I think there’s a 10-50% chance he reneges and runs for re-election.

    Unless Michael Madigan is helping Davis behind the scenes, Preckwinkle will beat Davis. And losing to a Black woman is not the way Davis wants to end his career.

  2. Here’s what might be the strategic advantage La Shawn Ford has.

    He’s Black and lives in Chicago and represents a big chunk of Oak Park.

    He also has few enemies and some personal wealth.

    And people like La Shawn Ford. The list of people who like Richard Boykin is short. That’s not to say people hate him, but he doesn’t have that likability factor that successful politicians often have.

    People to watch:

    County Commissioner Earlean Collins

    State Senator Kimberly Lightford

    I like Ford, but I also like Thomas Gary, a trustee for District 504 (Triton Community College). Gary is an Iraq War vet. He’s a lobbyist for local gov’t, so he knows how the pieces fit together. He was also the youngest person ever elected to the DeKalb County board, pretty impressive for a 19-year old Black kid.

    Prior to Davis’ announcement, Gary was testing the water to run for Cook County Board.

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