Sun-Times Endorses Andrea Zopp for U.S. Senate

The Chicago Sun-Times editorial board announced their endorsement of Democrat Andrea Zopp for U.S. Senate Friday.

The paper referenced Zopp's policy priorities as a main reason for their endorsement.

"Her top three legislative priorities are good ones, especially for Chicago and Illinois — criminal justice reform, rebuilding the middle class and immigration reform," the board wrote. "Our endorsement in the Democrat primary goes to Andrea Zopp."

Zopp, who is the CEO and President of the Chicago Urban League, faces Rep. Tammy Duckworth and state Sen. Napoleon in the Democratic primary for Mark Kirk's Senate seat.

"We believe Zopp has what it takes to be highly effective in the U.S. Senate, where the rules of power and advancement are as arcane as in any boardroom," the board wrote. "She is well equipped to again work the levers, this time on behalf of Illinois and the nation."

The paper mentioned Zopp's professional experience in their endorsement. Zopp previously served in the U.S. Attorney's Office and as the First Assistant in the Cook County's State's Attorney's Office. She also held executive positions at Sara Lee, Sears Holdings and Exelon.

"Zopp was effective because she was able to employ skills she had honed over a lifetime in corporate management and appointed public service," The board wrote. "She could work the boardrooms of the biggest companies — she has been there. She could work the levers of government — she has been there."

The Sun-Times endorsement also noted, "either Zopp or Duckworth would be a credible challenger against incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk in the November general election." According to recent polls, Duckworth has established a sizable lead in the race for the Democratic nomination.

A poll conducted by Lincoln Park Strategies between Feb. 4-7, found Duckworth received 64 percent of support while Zopp received 6 percent and Harris received 3 percent.

The poll was conducted for Harris. The Sun-Times noted that, politically, the former NFL star is "not in the same league as Zopp or Duckworth."

An additional poll, conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, found Duckworth receiving 52 percent of support from self-identified Democrats with Zopp receiving 6 percent and Harris receiving 4 percent.

Zopp has called on Duckworth to participate in additional debates in the lead-up to the primary.

"If you look at her record, particularly on the issues that matter to working families, and specifically, to the issues that matter to the African American community, like job creation, criminal justice reform and gun control, Congresswoman Duckworth been silent during her time in Congress," Zopp said. "Her interests in the issues that matter in our community isn’t driven by the fact that she actually wants to get things done, they are driven by political calculation. Yet, she won’t come and talk to us about these issues."

Duckworth's camp responded to the appeals, claiming the three previous debates were sufficient.

"We were pleased with the opportunity to participate in three substantive debates, and are looking forward to spending the final three weeks of the campaign traveling around the state and talking directly with Illinois voters," Duckworth spokesman Matt McGrath said in the statement. “If Ms. Zopp failed to make her points to her own satisfaction over the course of three well-covered debates, she has no one to blame but herself.”

Zopp will attend a rally Saturday on the southside with African-American leaders to "join in a call to Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth to stop ignoring issues in the African American community."

Zopp, Duckworth and Harris will face off in the March 15 Democratic primary.

Incumbent Mark Kirk will face James Marter in the March 15 Republican primary.

The general election is set for Nov. 8.

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