Eleven vying for congressional seat Gutierrez is giving up

SHARE Eleven vying for congressional seat Gutierrez is giving up
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Clockwise from upper left: Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th), Neli Vazquez Rowland, Sol A. Flores, Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), and Ald. Proco Joe Moreno, (1st). Sun-Times file and Facebook photos.

And then there were 11.

Although candidates had just under a week to gather more than 8,000 signatures, four Republicans and seven Democrats managed to file for the congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, who last week surprised many by announcing he was stepping down from the post he’s held for 25 years.

Democrats vying for the 4th Congressional seat areChicago Aldermen Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), Proco Joe Moreno, (1st),Raymond Lopez (15th); Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia; Sol Flores, the executive director of the community group La Casa Norte; Chicago Police Sgt. Richard Gonzalez; and Neli Vazquez Rowland, who runs A Safe Haven Foundation and is a longtime personal friend of both Gov. Bruce Rauner and his wife Diana.

Republican candidates include two Riverside residents, Jay Reyes, an attorney, and Mark Wayne Lorch. Ruben D. Sanchez of Chicago and Ann Melichar of Chicago, have also filed as Republican candidates.

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Gutierrez last Tuesday announced he wasn’t running, while trying to pass on the torch toGarcia, a former Chicago mayoral candidate. Gutierrez, the Northwest Side Democrat, stressedthat he’s not “retiring” and will still fight for immigration, racial justice, women’s and LGBT issues, while also focusing on rebuilding Puerto Rico. And he hinted he could throw his hat into the political ring again some day.

Richard Gonzalez. Facebook photo.

Richard Gonzalez. Facebook photo.

Gutierrez, 63, became a U.S. representative 25 years ago, representing the 4th Congressional District — which includes many neighborhoods and suburbs with large Mexican and Puerto Rican populations. He’ll serve until the end of his term in 2019.

Ramirez-Rosa was dropped as state Sen. Daniel Biss’s running mate in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in September amid backlash over comments the rookie alderman made about Israel.At issue are comments Ramirez-Rosa made last year about U.S. divestment from Israel. Speaking to the Real News Network, he said the U.S. government “has subsidized the oppression of the Palestinian people, and it’s time that stopped.”Ramirez-Rosa was a delegate for Bernie Sanders.

Ramirez-Rosa and Lopez are the first openly gay Latinos elected to the Chicago City Council.

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