Primary voters will have to make a choice from a crowded field of candidates to replace 15-term incumbent Rep. Bobby Rush (1st) in the June 28 primary. The winner of the Democratic contest will be the overwhelming favorite in the November election.
Some of the candidates have already set themselves apart for their current political offices, endorsements or, locally, their relationship to Hyde Park.
Karin Norington-Reaves, CEO of the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, got Rush’s endorsement. Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), chair of the Budget Committee, got that of former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun. State Sen Robert Peters (13th) endorsed his colleague, Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins (16th).
Jonathan Jackson, son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, is running. So is Jonathan Swain, owner of the Kimbark Beverage Shoppe, 1214 E. 53rd St., as is Jahmal Cole, the community activist who founded My Block, My Hood, My City who declared his candidacy before Rush announced he would not run for reelection.
The other Democratic candidates are teacher Kirby Birgans, Pastor Chris Butler of the Chicago Embassy Church Network, Chicago State University criminal justice Professor Cassandra Goodrum, businessman J. Darnell Jones, Postal Service worker Marcus Lewis, activist Ameena Matthews, teacher Dee Nix, Michael Payne, real estate agent Nykea Pippion McGriff, college administrator Stephany Rose Spaulding, nonprofit manager Michael Thompson and former chief of staff for the Illinois Criminal Justice Authority Charise Williams.