Bobby Rush has represented the 1st District since 1993, often while coping with difficult personal challenges. He has had to contend with serious illness, the lengthy illness and death of his wife, Carolyn, and the gun slaying of a son.

Perhaps it is no surprise, then, that Rush in recent years has missed more votes on Capitol Hill than any other member of Congress. Nevertheless, his constituents deserve a more engaged representative. We look forward to a day when Rush, who’s got a lock on this seat, steps aside. Any number of highly qualified candidates will jump into the race to succeed him.

RELATED: All candidates recommended by the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board

Until then, especially in general elections, Rush will continue to face only poorly qualified opponents. This time around, he is being challenged by Republican Jimmy Lee Tillman III, a business owner who has run before, and Independent Thomas Rudbeck, a real estate developer. Our endorsement goes to Rush, who has built up 25 years of valuable congressional seniority.

Illinois' 1st Congressional District covers parts of Chicago's South Side, southern Cook County southwest to Joliet | Tanveer Ali/Sun-Times

Illinois’ 1st Congressional District covers parts of Chicago’s South Side, southern Cook County southwest to Joliet | Tanveer Ali/Sun-Times

bobby rush congress 2018 general election endorsement

Rep. Bobby L. Rush (right) and Sen. Tammy Duckworth and speak at a press conference on gun licensing legislation in August. | Colin Boyle/Sun-Times

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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.