If you are offended, as we are, by how Jesus “Chuy” Garcia is being handed a seat in Congress like it’s a Christmas gift, look at it this way: He’s actually earned the gig over many years of honorable public service.
Sure, incumbent Rep. Luis Gutierrez announced his retirement late last year and simultaneously endorsed Garcia to be his successor, all but assuring Garcia’s victory in the March Democratic primary — the only race that counts in this overwhelmingly Democratic district.
That would be your Chicago Way.
But Garcia, now a Cook County commissioner, has been a force in local progressive politics since he was elected to the City Council in 1986, joining Mayor Harold Washington’s team. Garcia served six years in the Council and six years in the Illinois Senate. Most significantly, he founded a grass-roots organization, now called Enlace Chicago, that has worked to improve Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood.
Garcia is opposed by Republican Mark Wayne Lorch, a financial adviser from Riverside, who did not respond to our repeated requests to sit for an interview and complete a questionnaire. We endorse Garcia.
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Ahead of the historic 2018 elections, the Sun-Times is teaming up weekly with the Better Government Association, in print and online, to fact-check the truthfulness of the candidates. You can find all of the PolitiFact Illinois stories we’ve reported together here.