* Press release…
Sen. Bernie Sanders is endorsing Cook County Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” Garcia in the Democratic primary race to represent Illinois’ 4th Congressional District. Garcia, who served as a national Latino surrogate for Sanders in his 2016 quest for the Democratic Party nomination for president, said yesterday he would run for the U.S. Representative seat after the current U.S. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez announced he was retiring and backing Garcia to replace him.
“‘Chuy’ Garcia is the right person at the right time for the work we have ahead of us,” Sanders said. “He is ready and willing to stand up and fight for the working families of Chicago and our nation and take on the powerful special interests who have far too much power over the economic and political life of our country. He is also an experienced legislator who has risen up the ladder of Chicago’s brawling politics. That makes him well groomed for jumping into the House’s rough and tumble political battles.
“There will be no learning curve when Chuy gets to Washington. He served on the Chicago City Council, he was the first Mexican-American in the Illinois state Senate and he is currently serving on the Cook County Board of Commissioners. As an immigrant who has embraced his adopted homeland, he will be a fresh voice in Congress.
“And with his strong ties to the Puerto Rican community, he will be a strong ally and powerful advocate for our ‘Marshall Plan’ legislation to rebuild and renew that island.”
Sanders noted that the need to have a voice for immigrants on the national stage becomes more urgent every day, as the March 2018 withdrawal of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) protection for undocumented young people draws near and the Trump administration continues to escalate immigration raids, check-ins and deportations.
Garcia said he was looking forward to joining the new wave of progressive, national Democratic Party leaders, inspired by Sanders. He said he was aligned with the senator on virtually all of his key issues, including a strong program for rebuilding Puerto Rico, health care for all, immigration reform, boosting access to higher education and fiscal responsibility with a tax system where everyone pays their fair share.
“I support America, a nation of rich cultural heritage and unmatched strength, whose founding fathers believed in building bridges, not walls,” Garcia said. “I champion opportunity for all as an ally of independent Sen. Bernie Sanders. I will do everything in my power to move the nation forward on these crucial issues.”
* Race Already Heating Up to Replace Rep. Gutierrez: Six candidates are scrambling to get onto the ballot in time for the March primaries, when the race will truly begin to replace the retiring Gutierrez.