Representative Joe Kennedy III, the rising star of the Democratic Party and nephew to Democratic candidate Chris Kennedy, held two rallies in Chicago Tuesday on his uncle's behalf.
The congressman who gained attention for his response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address, held a rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Mi Tierra restaurant in Little Village.
Chris Kennedy recently spent some time in New York and Florida fundraising. Although state-wide polls have shown Kennedy in 3rd place, a new Cook County only poll shows Kennedy in second place.
Senator Bernie Sanders, who came within two points of winning the Illinois Democratic Primary in 2016, is also headed to Chicago this week—a visit that’s causing a tug of war for Illinois Democrats.
Who is progressive enough to share the stage and "feel the Bern"?
Sanders' main man is Cook County Commissioner Jesus Chuy Garcia, who supported Sanders in 2016 and traveled to the Iowa caucus, New York primary and elsewhere on Sanders’ behalf. The official press release for Sanders says he "will join Chuy Garcia at Rally on the Southwest side of Chicago.” The rally will take place on Thursday, Feb. 22 in the Marshall Square neighborhood.
There is no mention of any Democratic candidate for governor sharing that stage, even though the grassroots advocacy organization that grew out of the Sanders campaign, Our Revolution Illinois, has endorsed State Sen. Daniel Biss. Biss' name is not included. Commissioner Garcia and several other key members of Our Revolution Illinois, have endorsed Chris Kennedy.
Could both make their way to the stage? Or will they both find a way to have a photo taken with the popular progressive Sanders?
In the past several weeks, Biss has been targeted by Pritzker TV ads that criticized him for voting to reduce union pensions, a move that Biss now admits was a mistake. Biss has been trying to gain progressives’ support by offering a plan that includes free college tuition. He has recently received the endorsement of several groups including the People's Action—a group that promotes racial and economic justice.
Democrats running for Congress in other districts, including the crowded field in the 6th District and Marie Newman in the 3rd, are hoping to attend the Sanders rally and are anxiously awaiting a coveted endorsement.
The press release for Sanders’ visit mentions that Our Revolution also endorses State candidates Aaron Ortiz and Delia Ramirez, as well as Cook County Commissioner candidates Alma Anaya and Brandon Johnson.