Democratic candidate for Congress in Illinois’ 1st District Karin Norington-Reaves received the endorsement Thursday of Rep. Bobby Rush, bringing the CEO of the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership one step closer to being the first woman elected from the district.
“I am thrilled to receive the endorsement from Rep. Bobby Rush, a giant and storied leader for the 1st district, who has so ably represented us for thirty years. While these are big shoes to fill, I believe that I am the right person for this responsibility,” Norington-Reaves said in a release. “I love serving this community and I am ready to get to work — to create more jobs, to make our streets safer, and to make sure our working families have the resources they need not only to survive, but thrive.”
In 2021, her team was instrumental in the city of Chicago’s COVID vaccination efforts, and in previous years she has also worked a the deputy director of the state of Illinois’ Office of Urban Assistance, and as a professor at Loyola.
According to a release, Nortington-Reaves and Rush first met in 2014 after an area teacher, Dr. Betty Howard, was killed by gunfire in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood.
Since meeting, the two have worked to revitalize city streets, with Norington-Reaves leading the development and establishment of The Chatham Education and Workforce Center.
According to the Federal Election Commission, at least seven candidates have already filed papers saying they intend to run for the seat in Illinois’ 1st District. That list includes Chicago Ald. Pat Dowell, Chicago teacher Kirby Birgans, activist and Pastor Chris Butler, community activist Jahmal Cole, educator Dee Nix, and attorney Michael Thompson.
Still, others have debated whether to jump into the race.
“I’m seriously considering it,” State Sen. Elgie Sims said.
“Oh, without question (I’m considering it),” State Rep. Marcus Evans said. “The blessing part of this is that we have a lot of qualified people in the community, and I believe that I’m one of them.”
With more than a dozen confirmed and potential candidates currently eyeballing the race, Rush’s endorsement could be key, and Sims said that he would seek the Congressman’s approval if he jumped into the race.
“The legacy of service that Congressman Rush leaves is certainly one we marvel at. I’d love to have (his) support,” he said.
Endorsements aside, candidates are working to put together financial commitments to their campaigns, and are working to bring enough energy to boost voter turnout ahead of the hotly-contested June primary.
“(The key is) to make sure that you’re really connected to the constituents within the district, and to bring home those resources and those services,” Dowell said.
Both Evans and Sims said that they would focus on being a voice for their communities on the national stage.
“We need a worker. We need somebody who’s going to go to DC and fight,” Evans said.
It is not clear when Rush will announce a potential endorsement in the election.