President Biden endorses Rep. Danny Davis ahead of Tuesday primary

The longtime West Side congressman is locked in a Democratic primary with community activist Kina Collins.

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Rep. Danny K. Davis, D-Ill., June 1, 2022.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times,

President Joe Biden endorsed the Democratic primary bid of U.S. Rep. Danny Davis on Sunday, just two days before Tuesday’s primary where Davis is being challenged by anti-gun activist Kina Collins in the 7th Congressional District.

Biden said in a statement released by the Davis campaign the longtime congressman is “an effective leader and lawmaker who is deeply rooted in his community. He serves with passion and integrity, and that’s why I’m endorsing him in this upcoming primary.”

Davis “has voted to deliver historic infrastructure investments for Chicagoland. He has helped shape the life-changing legislation to keep folks safe during the pandemic, protected a woman’s right to choose, worked to get illegal guns off our streets and advocated to provide relief for working families across his district,” Biden said in his statement.

The president noted Davis’ work on the development of federally qualified health centers in the district, calling Davis an “essential partner.”

Davis, in a statement, thanked Biden for the endorsement and “for his partnership in Washington.” Davis added, “We have more work to do in Washington, and I look forward to continuing the fight with the president.”

Collins said in a statement, “Once again, when the 7th District needs him the most,” Davis “is using his resources to call in favors to save himself....He knows that voters are ready for a new generation of people-powered leadership.”

In the final days of the primary, the Davis campaign intends to run a TV ad based on Biden’s endorsement while leveraging it on social media.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backs incumbent members. She has been helping Davis fundraise, headlining an event for him in Chicago in May. Pelosi also did a video spot for Davis - focusing on women’s issues - posted on YouTube.

Davis is close to Biden - they worked on legislation dealing with ex-offenders when Biden was a senator - and Vice President Kamala Harris.

When Harris was running for president in 2020, Davis was one of her early backers. Once she dropped out, Davis endorsed Biden at a critical time - a day before the first-in-the-nation presidential vote in Iowa.

Davis met with Harris when she was in Chicago Friday to address the NALEO conference.

This battle between Davis, in Congress since January 1997, and Collins, making her second run against Davis, is a proxy fight over the future of the Democratic party - and the forces backing Collins wanting to pull it further left in part by defeating incumbent Democrats.

This plays out in the most Democratic congressional district in Illinois. According to an analysis by fivethirtyeight.com, the 7th District is 70 percent Democratic. Winning the June 28 primary is tantamount to clinching the seat in November’s general election.

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