In the new Hispanic congressional district, Rep. Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia endorses state Rep. Delia Ramirez

WASHINGTON — Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia — who leads a powerful grassroots progressive political operation — endorsed state Rep. Delia Ramirez in her Democratic primary candidacy on Tuesday to represent Illinois’ new Hispanic congressional district.

Garcia said he’s known Ramirez for years — “I’ve been a mentor to her,” and she’s been part of his campaign team and his progressive coalition.

“Delia is the one I believe in,” Garcia told the Chicago Sun-Times. “And I think we need more Latinas in Congress.” Currently, there are 13 Latina members. “So it’s definitely time for them. And I hope my support can make a difference.

Ramirez, Deputy House Majority Leader, has a main rival in the June 28 primary, Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th). As of December 31, Villegas has raised $386,473 for his campaign and ended the year with $377,055 in cash.

Ramirez’s contributions totaled $113,218, and as of December 31, she had a balance of $110,443.

Asked what his endorsement will do for Ramirez, Garcia said, “I will be involved in fundraising, helping him connect with potential donors in Washington DC. There is definitely potential for an endorsement from Bernie as well. . I will explore this with Bernie.

The Bernie is Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, who Garcia is close to because he served as Sanders’ national surrogate in his two presidential campaigns. Sanders fell for Garcia when he ran for mayor and congressman in Chicago, the two sharing a base of progressive and activist supporters.

Garcia said he “will also get involved with the pitch and, of course, with the strategy.”

The new 3rd The district was designed by Democratic state mapmakers following the 2020 census to elect Illinois’ second Hispanic congressman.

The district — created to elect a Democrat — sweeps through parts of Chicago’s north and northwest sides — Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale, Hermosa, Belmont Cragin — while meandering through suburban Cook and DuPage counties. The new 3rd encompasses parts of suburban Franklin Park, Addison, Bensenville, Bloomingdale’s, West Chicago and Elgin.

Garcia represents the only Hispanic district currently in the state, created in 1992 by drawing an earmuff-shaped district connecting Chicago’s Puerto Rican community on the north side with Mexican-American areas on the south and southwest side.

In the new map, Garcia had to give up the turf on the north side – most of it is in the new 3rd Piece.

Garcia will announce his approval during a press conference at the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, 4046 W. Armitage Ave. Ramirez will also be endorsed by Cook County Board Member Alma Anaya and State Senator Celina Villanueva during the session.

The immigrant’s daughter, Ramirez, 38, is the first Guatemalan American to serve in the Illinois General Assembly. She was first elected to the State House in 2018.

The third Democrat of the 3rd The district primary is Iyman Chehade, who is listed in Rep. Marie Newman’s ethics survey. Chehade sued Newman alleging she backed out of a contract she signed in 2018 promising her a job in his House office if she was elected in 2020 – which she was. In exchange, he alleged in his lawsuit, he agreed not to stand against her.

Newman is now the target of the House Ethics Committee reviewing that contract deal. The lawsuit was settled, with the details sealed. Two days after the settlement – Chehade, a key witness in the case, was on his campaign payroll. He was paid $54,000 for a part-time job for the last half of 2021.

Chehade raised $41,265 for his bid and had $38,846 in cash as of Dec. 31

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