Today, we offer Sun-Times Editorial Board endorsements in five Chicago-area races for the U.S. House of Representatives. On Friday, we will complete our endorsements in Congressional races.
Longtime incumbent Congressman Bobby Rush has faced tough times in his personal life in recent years, caring for his ill wife and struggling with the loss of his son, a victim of Chicago’s gun violence. It is not entirely surprising, then, that Rush has missed more votes on Capitol Hill than any other member of Congress. We would hope he understands, nonetheless, that the people of his district need him on the job — especially because his seniority in Congress puts him in a position to deliver. We endorse Rush for re-election. His Republican opponent is August O’Neill Deuser, a special education teacher.
U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly is strongly identified with just one issue in Congress, which we might normally view as a failing, but not in this case. The issue is the scourge of illegal guns and assault weapons. She fights that battle even when it falls from the headlines, between one horrific shooting and the next. We support her for re-election.
In an analysis of the gun issue she released in 2014 — a thoughtful “Kelly Report” — she stressed she is “not anti-gun,” only “pro common sense,” and listed a number of reforms, such as investing in “smart gun” technology to make it easier for police to track stolen guns and allowing courts to issue restraining orders so that guns can be taken from mentally ill people who are a threat to themselves. Kelly, a Democrat, has also been involved in community public health initiatives. She is opposed by Republican sales executive John Morrow, who ran for the job once before, 20 years ago.
U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley took a principled stand on a big issue last year — the rules of global trade — that reminded us of his independent ways when he was on the Cook County Board. Quigley is among a handful of House Democrats who joined Republicans in voting to give President Barack Obama sole power to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Quigley argued, rightly, that if the United
States did not take the lead in setting the terms of trade, China would. He gets our endorsement, with the caveat that we’d love to see him step up and be a leader more often. He is opposed by Republican businessman Vince Kolber, who praised Donald Trump to the heavens when we met with him, and Green Party candidate Rob Sherman, the atheist activist.
This is a strongly Republican district, so we doubt that Democratic candidate Amanda Howland stands a chance. We endorse her nonetheless. Incumbent Rep. Peter Roskam has become a real part of the problem in Congress, compromising with Democrats on nothing of substance and bashing Obama out of sheer force of habit. He has called global warming “junk science,” opposed sensible gun measures such as universal background checks for buyers, fueled the false narrative that the IRS targeted conservative groups, and emphasized border security — while articulating no other solutions — when asked what should be done to reform our immigration laws. Howland is an experienced lawyer, a College of Lake County trustee, and a professional mediator. We could use a professional mediator in Washington about now.
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