Race to Watch: 1st Congressional District | NBC Chicago
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Race to Watch: 1st Congressional District

In his bid for re-election, veteran Rep. Bobby Rush will take on Republican newcomer August Deuser, a former Chicago police officer.

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    In his bid for re-election, veteran Rep. Bobby Rush will take on Republican newcomer August Deuser, a former Chicago police officer.

    Rush has served Illinois’ 1st Congressional District since 1993, winning consecutive re-elections. He has dedicated his congressional career to serving the needs of his district, which covers most of Chicago’s South Side, and continues southwest to Joliet.

    Rush has a long political history, starting with his involvement with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, an important organization during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. Hampton ultimately started the Illinois chapter of the Black Panthers in 1967, according to a 2000 People Magazine profile. He left the group after fellow Black Panther Fred Hampton was shot and killed during a 1969 police raid.

    The Democrat went on to serve as a Chicago alderman before being elected to Congress. Since winning his 1st Congressional District seat, he has addressed the needs of low- and middle-income families, focusing on issues like conflict resolution and mediation, public pensions and community development. Rush beat out President Barack Obama in a 2000 primary challenge. It remains the only race Obama has lost in his political career.

    Rush currently serves on the Committee on Energy and Commerce, as well as the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Caucus on Crime Prevention and Youth Development, among other caucuses.

    His opponent, Deuser, looks to cut federal spending and add term limits for all political offices. He has also called for a limit on pensions and how much money politicians receive for their allowed time in office.

    The former teacher supports increased spending on education and champions a health care system that is “affordable for all people.” The Republican is a member of the Illinois Education Association, National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers Local 604.

    Deuser is also a pro-life advocate and a member of the National Rifle Association. Additionally, he supports Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s candidacy.