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Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson endorses US Rep. Danny Davis in crowded primary

Dan Petrella, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Political News

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson on Monday endorsed U.S. Rep. Danny Davis over City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin and three other candidates in the 7th Congressional District Democratic primary.

The endorsement from Johnson, like Davis a West Side resident, came three days after Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and other top Democrats staged a show of support for Davis. It also marks a break for the mayor from his core political base, the powerful Chicago Teachers Union, which last month backed Conyears-Ervin.

Calling Davis “my neighbor and my friend,” Johnson in a statement said the 14-term congressman is “a dedicated leader who consistently fights for the interests of our community, always has and always will.”

“From securing critical funding for infrastructure projects to championing legislation that supports working families, Congressman Davis has been an effective voice for our city and our district,” Johnson said in the statement, which was issued by the Davis campaign.

Davis, who’s been in Congress since 1997, backed Johnson last year in the mayoral runoff over former Chicago Public Schools chief Paul Vallas, as did Conyears-Ervin and her husband, Ald. Jason Ervin, 28th.

In a statement, Davis thanked Johnson “for his endorsement and his dedication to the betterment of our city.”

A spokesperson for Johnson’s political operation did not respond immediately Monday to a question about whether allegations of ethical misconduct leveled at Conyears-Ervin, the mayor’s City Hall colleague, factored into his decision to endorse Davis.

In November, the city’s Board of Ethics found probable cause that Conyears-Ervin violated the city ethics code in firing two employees who’d spoken out about allegations including that the treasurer used public workers to plan her daughter’s birthday party and attempted to force BMO Harris to issue a mortgage tied to the building that houses her husband’s aldermanic office.

 

Conyears-Ervin has dismissed the allegations as “four-year-old complaints” that “misrepresent me.”

Aside from Conyears-Ervin, Davis also is a facing a challenge from third-time opponent Kina Collins, whom he defeated by 6 points in 2022, in the March 19 primary.

Also on the Democratic primary ballot in the 7th District race are Nikhil Bhatia and Kouri Marshall, both of Chicago.

The lone candidate on the Republican ballot is perennial candidate Chad Koppie, who resides outside the district in far northwest suburban Gilberts.

The 7th District centers on the West Side but stretches from the lakefront to western suburbs past the Tri-State Tollway, and from Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood on the North Side to West Englewood on the South Side.

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