ENDORSEMENT: Aarón Ortíz for Illinois House in 1st District Democratic primary

The district has a large immigrant population, including undocumented immigrants, and their needs are top of mind for Ortíz.

SHARE ENDORSEMENT: Aarón Ortíz for Illinois House in 1st District Democratic primary
Aaron Ortiz, endorsement, 2020 Illinois House 1st District Democratic primary election

Aarón Ortíz is endorsed by the Sun-Times for Illinois House in the 1st District Democratic primary.

Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Six years ago, Illinois lawmakers made a mistake by disqualifying immigrants who are not American citizens from holding the student trustee position at University of Illinois campuses.

State Rep. Aarón Ortíz helped fix it. The rookie lawmaker was chief sponsor of a bill signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker last year to once again allow these students to run for the position. The district has a large immigrant population and their needs are top of mind for Ortíz.

Ortíz is a former local school council member and college and career coach at Back of the Yards College Prep. Given his background in education, it’s not surprising he managed to direct $900,000 from last year’s capital bill to Curie High School in Archer Heights to pay for building improvements. Other schools in his district also benefited from the bill.

Long-term, Ortíz has the makings of an effective legislator. He is endorsed.

We question the judgment of his challenger, Alicia Elena Martinez, who came up in the ward organization of longtime Ald. Ed Burke (14th). Burke is facing federal corruption charges, but that didn’t stop Martinez from campaigning for Burke in his aldermanic race last year. Ortíz defeated Burke’s brother, Dan, two years ago in the Democratic primary for this state representative seat.

Illinois House 1st District map.

Illinois House 1st District map.

Illustration by Caroline Hurley

For more information about this race and others, including candidate questionnaires, go to our Illinois primary voting guide. Our newspaper is owned by a group of civic-minded and, in some cases, politically active investors; for details, see our owner information page.

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