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Gutiérrez formally endorses Chuy Garcia for Congress

Tuesday, Nov 28, 2017

* Press release…

Congressman Luis Gutiérrez announced he will give up the seat he has held since 1993 after the current term and endorsed Cook County Commissioner and Chicago’s progressive standard bearer Jesús “Chuy” Garcia to be his successor at a press conference on Tuesday.

The announcements came at a news conference where the two leaders, who both got their political starts as part of the Harold Washington administration in the 1980s, emphasized the importance of maintaining the district’s role of giving immigrants a voice on a national platform.

“My candidacy builds on the legacy of Mayor Harold Washington, the foresight and energy that brought young people together for Sen. Bernie Sanders and the work of Rep. Gutiérrez,” Garcia said. “Luis has fought tirelessly in Congress for our undocumented brothers and sisters, and for people everywhere, to keep our hearts and minds open to the free-flowing movement of ideas and democracy. We must never allow fear and oppression to guide our nation.”

Gutiérrez, who has been a champion throughout his career for immigrant rights, veterans’ access to health care, reproductive rights, civil rights of the Puerto Rican people, and workers’ rights, made it clear that he believes Garcia will pick up where he left off and be a force for progressive policies and a clear voice in Congress on behalf of immigrants.

“It has never been more important for the future of America to have an immigrant voice at the table when national policies are being made,” Gutiérrez said. “Chuy is the kind of leader our district needs to carry us into this uncertain future.”

By electing a Mexican-American immigrant to represent them, Garcia said, 4
th District voters will be sending a message to the forces who would divide the nation that they support Gutiérrez’s persistent efforts to weave unity and progressive policies inextricably into the American fabric.

“We are grateful for the congressman’s bold leadership on immigration reform,” Garcia said. “We will build on his dynamic legacy that, with his signature firebrand oratory, has kept the issues front and center - whether it’s advocating for undocumented people and other immigrants, or exposing the folly of building a multi-billion dollar boondoggle of a wall.”

Garcia said he was looking forward to joining the new wave of progressive, national Democratic Party leaders, in the spirit of Bernie Sanders, for whom he worked during the 2016 primary election.

“Luis Gutiérrez and I share a common bond, as we carry forward the work of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington,” Garcia said. “I believe in opportunity for all, including affordable health care, strong schools, protection for workers and support for our troops and veterans. I will be a relentless advocate in moving Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts forward.”


* From the event…

I hope this campaign isn’t going to be about the past. We’ll see.

* Meanwhile


I have heard the rumor that Congressman Luis Gutierrez will not seek re-election. Congressman Gutierrez is a principled progressive, who has fought tirelessly for the 4th Congressional District’s working families; and I am proud to have fought alongside him as one of his former congressional staffers.

Since the rumor began circulating Monday night, I have heard from so many supporters in the 4th District asking me to run for Congress. I’m humbled by their encouragement to seek the Democratic nomination. If Congressman Gutierrez is retiring, I will begin circulating nominating petitions tonight.

I am ready to bring bold progressive leadership to DC and take our fight for working families to President Trump’s doorstep. As your Congressman, I will vigorously oppose President Trump’s regime, and fight for the progressive policies that will uplift the 4th District’s working families, including medicare for all, free college tuition, stopping deportations, and a $15 living wage.

If I decide to seek the Democratic nomination, there will be a spirited primary campaign, no doubt involving candidates for whom I have enormous respect. I look forward to a great dialogue and the voters making a decision on March 20th.

The deadline to submit signatures is December 4. Please help me get on the ballot by clicking here to volunteer.

Warm regards,

Carlos Ramirez-Rosa

…Adding… Press release…

U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement following U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez’s (D-IL-04) announcement that he will not seek re-election:

Luis Gutierrez has been my strongest partner in working for the Dream Act and comprehensive immigration reform. His voice will be critical in the remainder of his term and sorely missed thereafter.

…Adding… Another one…


“Luis Gutierrez represented Chicagoans in the Chicago City Council and US Congress for more than three decades, serving his constituents, his city and his country with honor. One thing I know is Luis Gutierrez will not stop fighting for what he believes in until the last vote is cast, and even then will continue working for the causes he has championed throughout his life because he believes in them with his heart. Luis Gutierrez’s journey from a taxi driver to a US Congressman is a testament to the power of the American Dream. I have been proud to call him a dear friend and trusted colleague, and stand with Chicagoans and Americans everywhere in expressing my appreciation for his service and wishing him well in his next chapter.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 1:30 pm:

    The way Carlos Ramirez-Rosa handled his part in the Biss “misunderstanding” which proved a lacking of political acumen…

    … sometimes a humbling has to happen…

    We’ll see if Carlos Ramirez-Rosa takes on this race as he took on the adversity with Biss… which could also be seen as an implosion.

  2. - Grand Avenue - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 1:32 pm:

    These candidates are lucky that the weather in Chicago will be beautiful for the next week. If it was 20 degrees & snowing it would be absolutely impossible to get what they need.

  3. - Grand Avenue - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 1:35 pm:

    Also, the number of voters who would choose Carlos Rosa over Chuy is in the single digits. After Carlos got dropped by Biss & after he gets like 7% in this race, I would be shocked if people don’t smell blood in the water & try to beat him for re-election.

  4. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 1:53 pm:

    Interesting choice for a poster.

    Harold was re-elected to Congress in Nov. 1982 and won the primary for mayor in Feb. 1983. He basically ran both campaigns at the same time.

    Last night, some “unnamed sources” attributed elsewhere said Luis dropping out and endorsing Garcia was contingent on Garcia forgoing a race against Emanuel in 2019.

    Has Garcia made that Sherman-like statement?

  5. - Dee - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 1:54 pm:

    Has Rahm endorsed Garcia yet?

  6. - Texas Red - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 2:00 pm:

    “Garcia will pick up where he left off and be a force for progressive policies”

    Gutiérrez has been in power since 1993, and was a champion of progressive politics including under two Dem presidents. One wonders just how long does it take for those progressive promises to come true?

  7. - Actual Red - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 2:11 pm:

    I wouldn’t be so sure that Rosa is in for a complete smacking in the 4th. I don’t think he beats Chuy, but the district did go for Bernie in the primary, and the guy is at least somewhat popular in his own ward. I also think, especially among his core supporters and the voters in his district, the Biss debacle reflects more poorly on Biss than it does Rosa. I don’t see the 4th district voters being too concerned about Israel-Palestine one way or another, for example.

  8. - Amalia - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 2:12 pm:

    full circle. Luis was a Harold guy. worked in Streets and San. when he endorsed Daley in 89 it was a big thing.

  9. - El Gringo - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 2:16 pm:

    Susana Mendoza would beat any of them if she wants it

  10. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 2:19 pm:

    ===but the district did go for Bernie in the primary===

    OK, but Chuy was way out in front for Sanders.

  11. - Sharon - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 2:23 pm:

    Congress is an easy move for Chuy…go from doing nothing on the county board to doing nothing in Congress.

  12. - Juice - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 2:30 pm:

    One of the major reasons Bernie won the district was because Chuy was doing ads for him. Not sure that points to more support for Rosa versus Chuy already being popular in the district.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 2:30 pm:

    ===Susana Mendoza would beat any of them if she wants it===

    Can’t think of any reason why she’d want to go Congress, be a freshman, of 435.

    No reason.

  14. - Really? - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 2:38 pm:

    Gutierrez accomplishments:

    On August 11, 1999, Clinton commuted the sentences of 16 members of FALN, which is a Puerto Rican paramilitary organization that set off 120 bombs in the United States, mostly in New York City and Chicago.

    On Jan 2017 President Barack Obama’s commutation of the sentence of Oscar López Rivera, who was convicted for his role in a Puerto Rican nationalist group linked to bombings in US cities

  15. - Centennial - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 2:38 pm:

    Chicago sends folks to DC to get them out of Chicago. Promote them up, and more importantly, out.

  16. - Grand Avenue - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 2:40 pm:

    If you’re a progressive, Chuy & Rosa are exactly the same on every issue except Chuy is about 100 times more likeable and a million times less self-absorbed.

  17. - Logan Square - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 2:41 pm:

    Anyone else heard rumors of people planning to run against Rosa? With a race serving as a distraction, there will be blood in the water. Doesn’t Harishi live in the ward?

  18. - Fireman Tom - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 2:43 pm:

    There are people running that will have their efforts cut short because of harrasment/abuse scandals. One for what he did while at U of I.

  19. - Chicago Bars - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 3:02 pm:

    LOL, Grand Avenue. Hoping somebody borrows “Chuy & Rosa are exactly the same on every issue except Chuy is about 100 times more likeable and a million times less self-absorbed.”

  20. - Fax Machine - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 3:03 pm:

    My sources tell me Jacob Meister will run for the 4th Congressional. He would be the one white candidate against many Latinos. Interesting no women are running

  21. - Uptown Jay - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 3:06 pm:

    @firemantom - what’s the deal with this? I’ve seen this referenced a few times.

  22. - FDB - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 3:12 pm:

    This has just easily become the most interesting race of 2018, I’d argue even more interesting than the Gov primaries. Wow. Wow wow wow.

  23. - Grand Avenue - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 3:15 pm:

    Gutierrez retiring will have ripple effects in the 4th State House race Rich profiled in the Fax today - if Proco runs & stays on the ballot it means that his crew will be busy with his race instead of totally focused on Iris Millan, which inures to the benefit of the other women running.

  24. - WSJ Paywall - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 3:20 pm:

    The more I read about this the more insider-y it feels.

    The Biss/Carlos debacle reflected far worse on the former, and I say that as someone who likes both of them.

  25. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 3:27 pm:

    ===This has just easily become the most interesting race of 2018===

    You must be a Chicago TV reporter. lol

  26. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 3:40 pm:

    ==but the district did go for Bernie in the primary==

    Chuy ran Bernie’s campaign.

    ==Susana Mendoza would beat any of them if she wants it==

    Sure, but she can just hang out for a little bit longer and get a much better job, too. One of ‘em may only make her wait 18 months or so!

  27. - Western Union - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    @Fax Machine:

    Dick Mell (a/k/a “The Old Gringo” for his meddling in Latino wards and districts bordering the 33rd Ward) once launched a Congressional campaign bid that threatened Guitierrez in the gerrymandered 4th CD. As the lone white candidate in a district where Latino voter registration totals were soft, Mell threatened to upset the apple cart. Of course, he withdrew, but his threat probably resulted in Daley paying him off with favors.

  28. - FDB - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 3:47 pm:

    Lol, not exactly true but perhaps I do need to step out of my Chicago bubble and qualify that it’s the most exciting race in Chicago by far. Congressional money, two candidates with sky high name recognition, the most gerrymandered district in America, and some weird quasi-insider backroom trading going on. Sign me up.

  29. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 3:47 pm:

    It’ll be interesting to see if there is a boost in Latino turnout in the primary and whether Ruiz can ride that to a victory in a crowded AG field.

  30. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 3:48 pm:

    ===the most gerrymandered district in America===

    Um, no. The district was drawn to assure a Latino majority.

  31. - FDB - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 3:54 pm:

    ==don’t think he beats Chuy, but the district did go for Bernie in the primary==

    Uhh, and Chuy was the biggest Bernie surrogate in the state sans nobody. I wouldn’t be shocked if Bernie endorses Chuy.

  32. - FDB - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 3:56 pm:

    ==Um, no. The district was drawn to assure a Latino majority==

    Packing a Latino majority into one district means they have less chances to influence a district where a coalition of black/white/brown voters is needed to win. There’s been plenty of studies that show how these districts are drawn with good intention but decrease the amount of minority influence over politics.

    I highly suggest Ratf**ked by David Daley (no, not of THAT Daley family).

  33. - Juice - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 4:25 pm:

    FDB, the Federal judge basically ordered that the map be drawn that way under the 1991 map, deciding that the Latino population was large enough that there should be a Latino majority district, but that the map should also keep the three African American majority districts. Because the two centers of Chicago’s Latino population at the time were divided by the African American majority west side, you get the district we have today.

    That doesn’t mean it should have stayed that way for all this time, but I think how it originated is helpful.

  34. - PeoriaPaul - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 4:29 pm:


    Illinois 4 is BOTH a district is drawn to assure a Latino majority AND a gerrymandered district. Why can’t it be both?

    Some people call it the EarMuffs district, as it resembles EarMuffs turn sideways.

  35. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 4:35 pm:

    ===Why can’t it be both?===

    Because if it wasn’t done that way there’d be a lawsuit.

  36. - Actual Red - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 4:42 pm:

    @rich et al–
    I stand somewhat corrected — I was out of state during the general and did not know Chuy’s affiliation with Bernie was that strong. Thanks y’all! I think it will still be interesting to see how Rosa performs, and I still think he does at least ok.

  37. - NorthsideNoMore - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 5:02 pm:

    Didn’t the good congressman have an aversion to property taxes? after the big city increase he probably wants to move out of the city and Illinois

  38. - Anon - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 6:01 pm:

    Luis said it in his press conference. He said he decided he would not run when Chuy informed him he was going to “file” for the District. So, Louis had not choice. He had already collected and supposedly filed his signatures. After he endorsed Rham over Chuy, the people were ready to bounce him out. The majority of the Latino voters in the District are of Mexican ancestry, and no doubt would of voted for Chuy over him…he did not want to be embarrassed.

  39. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 6:13 pm:

    ====Because if it wasn’t done that way there’d be a lawsuit.

    This is correct and it also should be noted that the district is formed around a relatively small geographic area that is defined by settlement patterns of Latinos. This wasn’t designed to be gerrymandered to deliver a Democratic seat over a Republican one. In fact, if a true gerrymander were put in place the district would have been split up for Democratic votes and as part of the spokes out of the city.

    No group is disadvantaged by the IL-4 in the sense of having their vote dismissed and Latino voters have their ability to affect policy enhanced.

  40. - TKMH - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 6:19 pm:

    Expect the Chicago DSA to come out in full force for Carlos–all 12 of them.

    An earnest question regarding Rosa: he’s an avowed socialist–how does he interact with businesses in his district? If he believes capitalism to be such a scourge on society, does he even meet with or listen to civic or business leaders in his ward?

    Luis had a record of fighting fiercely for immigration reform. In the Trump era, barring any Conyers-like allegations, he will be sorely missed.

  41. - TopHatMonocle - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 6:28 pm:

    Anon, that’s an interesting spin on what he actually said. Not sure if you misread it or if you’re trying to intentionally mislead. What he said was that he asked Chuy to run in his place, and if Chuy refused, he would have run for re-election.

  42. - Anon - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 6:58 pm:

    Nope…in response to a reporter’s question as to when he decided not run…Luis said, “when Chuy informed him he was filling.”

  43. - Hottot - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 7:44 pm:

    I wish Luis Gutierrez would run for Senate, but I look for him to run for Mayor of Chicago. If he ran for Senate, I’d proudly vote and campaign for him.

  44. - Amalia - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 8:07 pm:

    President? re Sun Times

  45. - Educ - Tuesday, Nov 28, 17 @ 10:48 pm:

    “Gutiérrez has been in power since 1993, and was a champion of progressive politics including under two Dem presidents. One wonders just how long does it take for those progressive promises to come true?”

    Guiterrez yanked the entire Democratic Party — and certainly its Congressional wing — way, way over to his side on immigration, and helped shift the Overton window on the national conversation. Whether or not you think he got substantial policy wins, he definitely shifted the terms of the conversation dramatically and opened up options that were closed before him.

  46. - Chitown Chris - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 12:04 am:

    There seems to be a lot of interesting comments. In news reports that were being sourced by those in the discussions, Gutierrez called Chuy or Chuy’s team to talk about if he’d be interested in running for office. The news stories said that this happened on Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) or Friday. Around this same period or shortly afterward, Latino elected officials heard that Gutierrez was thinking of retiring, probably after Garcia seemed receptive to Gutierrez’ call.

    So, according to news articles, Gutierrez wanted to retire, but only if Garcia was interested in running in his place. Garcia committed to file for this office, but did not have any interest in this office before Gutierrez’ call.

    I like Garcia and Rosa, but given the advantages that Garcia will have (name recognition, funding), it may not be Rosa’s time.

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