Though he is retiring from Congress, U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1st) is running to be his district’s state Democratic committeeman again.
He faces an opponent, however, in state Rep. Lamont Robinson (D-5th).
The committee is made up of 34 men and women in charge of maintaining the state party, recruiting and helping local candidates, and working between the state and local party structures.
Robinson says voters should support him because his experience as chair of the House Tourism Committee will help Chicago land the 2024 Democratic National Convention.
“We need to have new leadership as it relates to the state central committee,” he said. “Tourism is the economic engine of our city, of our state, and also I will be the first member of the LGBTQ community to be a part of the state central committee. And we need to have a voice for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.”
The central committee also chooses delegates to the DNC; Robinson said people should trust his judgment “as someone who has been trusted in Springfield to represent them, whether they live in my district or not.”
Former state House Speaker Michael Madigan chaired the state party for years; the chair is now U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-2nd), but the party has long faced derision from political insiders who charged it with being too focused on fighting state House races.
“I think it is pretty clear that after Speaker Madigan decided to step down, this gives us an opportunity to really do some great things with the Democratic Party, to bring in new blood, some new, fresh ideas, and I believe that I’m the man for the job,” Robinson said.
Robinson, 40, said he is in a better position to connect with young people, having previously worked to mentor young men in local schools and taught as an adjunct at Harold Washington College.
“We need to be able to register our youth to vote, and we need to make sure they understand what the party apparatus is and why it’s important to vote,” he said. “These are the things that I want to be able to do and bring into the fold in the state central committee.”
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June 23, 2022 at 10:54PM