Sweet: Bobby Rush is running again

SHARE Sweet: Bobby Rush is running again

WASHINGTON – Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., is running for another term and is not ready to ride off in the sunset, he told me this week, as he endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

Rush, who turns 69 on Nov. 23, is going to run again, even as he battles cancer, has a matter before the House Ethics Committee and missed votes because of his wife’s illness.

When we talked on Thursday, I asked him if there was any chance he would not seek another term.

“No,” he said. Rush added for emphasis, “No. No. No. The petitions are on the streets and will be filed in a few days.”

The deadline for federal, state and local candidates from established political parties to file petitions to get on the March 15 Illinois primary ballot is Nov. 30. Presidential candidates and their delegates have to turn in petitions by Jan. 6.

I asked Rush again: “You’re not going anywhere?”

Replied Rush, “No, no time soon.”

Rush, whose 2nd Congressional District is anchored on the South Side, was first elected to Congress in 1992, a big step up for the one-time Black Panther who was an alderman before coming to Washington.

Rush was a supporter of Bill Clinton when he launched his first presidential campaign in 1991, with the then alderman one of the first African-American elected officials to back the then Arkansas governor. That’s when Rush first met Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In 2000, Rush faced a big Democratic primary and one of his main challengers was a state senator by the name of Barack Obama. President Clinton returned the favor and helped re-elect Rush.

The president made a radio spot for Rush produced by Chicago’s Adelstein and Associates: “I’m President Clinton urging you to send Bobby Rush back to Congress where he can continue his fight to save Social Security, provide Medicare coverage for prescription drug and prepare our children for the 21st Century.”

When Obama, then a senator, was running for president in 2008, Rush endorsed the home town contender over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.

In the 2016 contest, Rush is back in the Clinton fold, with his endorsement coming as the Clinton campaign is mounting a drive to lock-up African American support and block chief rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent running as a Democrat.

Clinton is “certainly one that offers the most potential for improving the day-to-day lives of my constitutients,” Rush said. “I’m eager to endorse her and look forward to working with the campaign vigorously, even more vigorously as we get closer to the early primaries.

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