Three Democrats left in 4th Congressional District primary after Lopez exits

SHARE Three Democrats left in 4th Congressional District primary after Lopez exits
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Left to right, Democratic 4th Congressional District candidates Chicago Police Sgt. Richard Gonzalez, Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and La Casa Norte executive director Sol Flores. File Photos. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) on Tuesday dropped out of the Democratic primary race for the 4th Congressional District seat that is soon to be vacated by retiring U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez.

Lopez’s announcement came a day after fellow Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno (1st) dropped out of the contest, trimming the crowded field of 11 Democrats who initially threw their hats in the ring down to three: Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia,La Casa Norte executive director Sol Flores and Chicago Police Sgt. Richard Gonzalez.

Ald. Ray Lopez. | Sun-Times files

Ald. Ray Lopez. | Sun-Times files

Lopez wrote in a statement that he wants to focus on his Southwest Side ward, and that he plans to run for re-election in the 2019 aldermanic races.

“As Alderman, I have been able to directly address the needs of my constituents and positively impact their lives in a way that I truly do not believe would be possible from Washington D.C.” Lopez wrote.

“The historic communities I represent — West Englewood, Brighton Park, Back of the Yards, and Gage Park — deserve an Alderman with a proven track record of public service,” he wrote. “Therefore I am recommitting my efforts to improving the lives of the nearly 56,000 people I was elected to serve and will be seeking re-election in 2019.”

Lopez could not immediately be reached for comment about potentially endorsing another candidate for the March 20 primary.

When Gutierrez made his surprise announcement in November 2017 that he was retiring from Congress, he threw his support behind Garcia to succeed him.

Republican Mark Wayne Lorch is running uncontested in the GOP primary.

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