Rep. Danny Davis, a Democrat, is extremely popular in his district, which is why he draws only token opposition in general elections. The Republican Party doesn’t waste its time. So it goes again. The congressman is opposed by a University of Chicago doctor of radiology, Jeffrey A. Leef, who admirably believes in public service but has no experience to recommend him; and he’s not well informed on the issues. Davis is a dyed-in-the-wool liberal who has focused on such issues as criminal justice reform and creating “a living wage.” He also is among the most globetrotting members of Congress, which is unfortunate. He might want to work a little harder here at home. We endorse Davis this year with the hope that he faces a more qualified opponent the next time around.
Jan Schakowsky, a classic liberal Democrat, is sometimes accused of being out of touch with a district that stretches across lines of political inclination, from Chicago’s North and Northwest sides to the North Shore to the northwest suburbs. But the district’s voters say otherwise. First elected to Congress in 1998, Schakowsky has been re-elected by overwhelming majorities — never less than 66 percent — eight times. We endorse Schakowsky over Joan McCarthy Lasonde of Wilmette because Schakowsky knows where she stands, and she runs a strong district service office. She supported the Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal, which was not an easy vote in a district with a significant Jewish constituency. That said, Schakowsky has been among the most resolute supporters of Israel in Congress.
When complicated questions of science such as climate change, cyber-security and self-driving cars come before Congress, it’s good to have an actual scientist in the House. Like Democrat Bill Foster, a physicist and businessman who is seeking a third term in the far west suburban district. Many issues before Congress involve aspects of science, and Foster, the only Ph.D. scientist in the House, has been an important resource for his colleagues on both sides of the aisle, especially during negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal, which turned on many highly technical questions. His opponent is Tonia Khouri, a two-term DuPage County board member and businesswoman who was born and raised in Glen Ellyn and lives in Aurora.
Democrat Jim Walz, a thoughtful Warren Township High School District 121 board member, is promoting some sensible ideas, such as ways to preserve Social Security and Medicare and allowing the refinancing of student loans, but he lacks significant experience in office. We prefer three-term Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren, who is more in tune with his far west and northwest suburban district. We hope Hultgren, who also served eight years in the Illinois General Assembly, stops dodging the issue of gun violence and joins others in Congress in seeking realistic solutions, but we admire his leadership on encouraging science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, a priority for the nation as we move into a knowledge society.