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Rush Looks to Maintain Congressional Seat

Rush has been in the spotlight amid an investigation by the House Ethics Committee

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    Bobby Rush.

    Democrat Bobby L. Rush and Republican candidate Jimmy Lee Tillman II will be battling at the voter box in November.

    Rush has been an active member in the First Congressional District of Illinois since 1993 and is a pastor of the Beloved Community Christian Church of Chicago. In 2012, he was asked to leave the House floor after wearing a hoodie in protest the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Rush holds the distinction of being the only man to electorally defeat Barack Obama in a 2000 congressional primary.

    Tillman, the son of the Chicago Democrat, Dorothy Tillman, is seeking the seat for the First Congressional District of Illinois. The seat has been held by Rush for 21 years.

    This year could be different as Congressman Rush has been in the spotlight amid an investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

    1st District Race Results

    The Committee received a report on Rush from the Office of Congressional Ethics June 10.

    While the Ethics Committee was not specific about why Rush is being investigated, questions were raised late last year about spending from his campaign fund, and the handling of a $1 million dollar grant.

    Specifically, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Better Government Association reported that Rush had little to show for the grant, secured from SBC Communications for a non-profit in Englewood. The stories also reported that Rush used campaign funds for his Beloved Community Christian Church.

    “I am hopeful that the Ethics Committee will approach this in a manner that takes into account the cooperation I have shown from the outset, and my willingness to adhere to any guidance that House Ethics has made, or will make, available to me,” Rush said in a statement in July.

    The Ethics Committee says it will announce a course of action on or before Nov. 10, leaving the possibility for a variety of outcomes.

    They could choose to do nothing. They could refer the matter for further investigation by a specially empaneled investigative subcommittee. They could also refer the matter to the Justice Department.

    According to Rothenberg Political Report, Rush is "safe" when it comes to the election.

    While the results of the investigation remain unclear, along with the reason for the investigation, Rush’s status and long-term success in the seat make an upset highly unlikely.