When seven Democrats run for Congress in a Republican district and there’s hardly a clunker in the bunch, something’s up.
Maybe, the thinking goes, the district is no longer so Republican. Call it the Trump Effect.
U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam has represented Illinois’ 6th Congressional District, stretching through the far west and north suburbs, since 2006, but there are indications he may be vulnerable. Hillary Clinton carried the district by seven percentage points over Donald Trump in 2016, and polls show Trump has grown only more unpopular since then with moderate Republicans and independents.
Our endorsement in the Democratic primary goes to financial consultant Kelly Mazeski, a member of the Barrington Hills zoning board who ran unsuccessfully for the Illinois Senate in 2016. She previously has served in local government as a village trustee and a plan commissioner.
We like Mazeski’s consensus-building, bipartisan style, as evident by her ability for 18 years to work effectively as a Democrat in the heavily Republican Barrington area. As she writes in her questionnaire, she has often been “the only Democrat in the room.”
We also like Mazeski’s priorities for the district, including a repeal of the GOP tax reform bill signed last month by Trump, and her promise to be a far more accessible representative than Roskam has been. Town-hall meetings might make a comeback.
Mazeski has been endorsed by Emily’s List, as well as by two Democratic members of Illinois’ congressional delegation, Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Rep. Cheri Bustos.
Also running are Becky Anderson Wilkins, a member of the Naperville council; Carole Cheney, a former Illinois chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, who has endorsed her; Amanda Howland, a College of Lake County trustee who lost to Roskam in 2016; Sean Casten, a Downers Grove businessman who has a particular expertise in climate change issues; Jennifer Zordani, a regulatory attorney from Clarendon Hills, and Ryan Huffman of Palatine, who has a degree in public policy from the University of Chicago.
When the Democrats running in the 6th Congressional District primary visited the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board on January 30, we asked each to introduce themselves to voters. Here was Kelly Mazeski’s response:
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