SKOKIE, IL — A real estate lawyer and former school board president declared her candidacy to succeed Rep. Laura Fine, who announced last week she is running for 9th District State Senate seat being vacated by Daniel Biss. Mary Rita Luecke, who has previously served as the head of the District 65 School Board, announced Tuesday she is running to represent the 17th District, which includes parts of Skokie, Evanston, Wilmette, Glenview and Morton Grove.
Luecke is an attorney who has lived in Skokie for more than 30 years and taught at DePaul University College of Law for almost 30 years. She has represented hundreds of people with disabilities and currently represents clients in residential real estate transactions, according to her campaign.
Earlier in her career, Luecke worked on several landmark civil rights cases. In addition to two successful races for school board, her campaign said she has been active in the Niles Township Democratic Organization.
Luecke released the following statement Tuesday:
“As a parent, citizen and taxpayer, I watched with anger and frustration as Bruce Rauner repeatedly blocked efforts to pass a fair and equitable budget. I am thankful that the General Assembly was finally able to override the governor’s veto so that our state universities, public schools, and essential social services could continue to serve the people of Illinois.
I want to be a part of a legislature that works together — regardless of party affiliation — to meet the challenges facing Illinois.
That is why I am running for state representative.
My top priority for the district will be to fully and equitably fund our public schools. As a former school board president, I understand that challenges of school finances and the challenges of running a school district. I will use this knowledge and experience to fight for quality public schools for every child in Illinois.”
Luecke has already been endorsed by Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) who represents a neighboring state legislative district.
“I have known and worked with Mary Rita for many years. She has strong progressive values,” Gabel said. “As president of the District 65 Board of Education, she worked tirelessly to improve our public schools. Mary Rita Luecke will be an outstanding state representative.”
Luecke is married to Michael Gelder, a health care consultant, and former director of the Illinois Department on Aging, and a Senior Health Policy Advisor to Governor Pat Quinn. They have two adult daughters, Hannah and Moriah.
Top photo via Mary Rita Luecke for State Rep
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Originally published August 1, 2017.