Delia Ramirez tops Gilbert Villegas for Congress; Jesse Jackson's son on way to clinching nomination; Rep. Danny Davis in tight fight to keep his seat

John Byrne, William Lee and Gregory Pratt, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Political News

Jonathan Jackson, son of civil rights icon the Rev. Jesse Jackson, opened a lead in a packed Democratic primary fight Tuesday night to grab the nomination to succeed U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush.

Jackson’s apparent win over 16 other Democrats in the historic 1st Congressional District sets him up as the overwhelming favorite to continue nearly a century of Black representation in the seat that stretches from the South Loop deep into the south suburbs.

With 81% of precincts reporting, Jackson had 27.5% of the vote to 18.7% for Chicago Ald. Pat Dowell of the South Side.

In another closely watched primary fight in a heavily Democratic Congressional seat, progressive state Rep. Delia Ramirez won handily over moderate Northwest Side Ald. Gilbert Villegas in the new Latino-leaning 3rd District that meanders from Chicago deep into DuPage County.

With 90% of precincts reporting, Ramirez had 66% of the vote to 24% for Villegas, who said he called Ramirez to concede in the race.

Both Jackson and Ramirez were endorsed during their campaigns by progressive firebrand Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Ramirez also has long enjoyed the backing of progressive Southwest Side U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.


Ramirez, 39, also had the Chicago Teachers Union backing.

Also Tuesday, veteran Democratic U.S. Rep. Danny Davis was trying to hold off young progressive challenger Kina Collins in the 7th District that winds from the west suburbs through the West Side to the South Side.

With 87% of precincts reporting, Davis had 51.4% of the vote to 46.3% for Collins.

If Jackson holds on to win Tuesday and wins in November, he will follow his brother, Jesse Jackson Jr., to the House of Representatives.


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