clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The 2020 presidential race hits Illinois: Delegate petition drives kick off Oct. 5

Though the Democratic presidential campaigns are focusing on the early state votes in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada in February, the contenders can’t ignore Illinois because the March 17 presidential primary comes early enough that it may make a difference.

Presidential Candidates Attend New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) has two events in Highland Park on Thursday.
Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — As Democratic presidential candidates touch down in Chicago for fundraising — Joe Biden has three events Thursday in the city — they have another must-do job that starts Oct. 5 in Illinois, when folks can start circulating petitions to run as district delegates to the nominating conventions.

Though the Democratic presidential campaigns are focusing on the early state votes in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada in February, the contenders can’t ignore Illinois because the March 17 presidential primary comes early enough that it may make a difference.

That’s the reason all the major presidential contenders must pay attention to Illinois when it comes to organizing delegate slates for each of the 18 congressional districts in Illinois.

The Democrats, unlike the Republicans, insist on diverse slates, and have a lot of rules to make sure the slates are balanced for, among other factors, gender, race, national origin, sexual orientation and religion, with all this spelled out in the 47 pages of the Democratic Party of Illinois delegate selection plan.

Interest in running for a delegate was high on the North Side on Monday, when more than 200 prospects came to a Democratic Party of Illinois briefing session at the Broadway Armory, 5917 N. Broadway. That’s the most so far, said party spokesman Eileen Boyce. In all, the DPI, chaired by House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago, is running 21 sessions on how to be a delegate. The armory session was the 12th.

The next ones in Chicago are Friday, Sept. 20 at Menta Academy, 5101 S. Keeler Ave., starting at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, Sep.t 21, beginning at 10 a.m. at Plumbers Local 130, 1400 W. Washington Blvd., and at IBEW Local 134, 2722 S. King Drive kicking off at 2 p.m.

ADD BENNET TO BIDEN, BETO, KLOBUCHAR FUNDRAISING IN CHICAGO

Here’s an update on presidential Dems in Chicago for fundraising in the coming days. I previously reported Biden hits Chicago for two events Thursday; on Monday, Amy Klobuchar, the Minnesota senator, is here, as is Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman.

Biden, it turns out, has three events Thursday, with a dessert reception between his lunch and evening events. The dessert funder is hosted by real estate moguls Emily and Thad Wong. Federal Election Commission records show Thad Wong also donated to the Kamala Harris campaign.

With this big Democratic field, bigger donors have been spreading money among several presidential contenders to see who will emerge from the pack.

Michael Bennet, the Colorado senator, has an event in Highland Park on Thursday, a fundraiser at Highland Park hosted by activists Steve Sheffey and Dana Gordon.

Sheffey writes the informative Chicagoland Pro-Israel Political Update.

Also in Highland Park in the morning, a discussion with Halie Soifer, the Executive Director of Jewish Democratic Council of America titled “Loyal to our Values, Navigating the Political Landscape as a Jewish Democrat in the Age of Trump.”

CLARIFICATION ON DAN LIPINSKI AND GAY MARRIAGE

In writing about the Democratic primary rematch in the 3rd Congressional District between Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., and Marie Newman — and her getting the endorsement Tuesday from Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., - I said that Lipinski opposes gay marriage.

A fuller explanation is in order: Lipinski was at one-time opposed to gay marriage but has dropped his opposition. He dropped his opposition to gay marriage when it became the law of the land, his spokesman said.