Democratic Incumbents Rep. Jesús ‘Chuy’ García, Danny Davis Stave Off Primary Challenges

Rep. Jesus “Chuy” García is being challenged by Chicago Ald. Ray Lopez in the 4th Congressional District. (Campaign photos) Rep. Jesus “Chuy” García is being challenged by Chicago Ald. Ray Lopez in the 4th Congressional District. (Campaign photos)

Incumbent Illinois Reps. Jesús “Chuy” García and Danny Davis have each defeated their primary challengers in their respective congressional races, according to the Associated Press.

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

García on Tuesday staved off a challenge from 15th Ward Chicago Ald. Ray Lopez in Illinois’ 4th Congressional District, while Davis defeated four other candidates in the state’s 7th District.

“Our movement is strong, our movement is bold and we are progressive — and don’t forget it — we are effective,” García said during his victory speech. “We need to stand strong together and united. Our work together will be tough, but we are tougher and we demonstrated it time and time again.”

Some of the most hotly contested races in Tuesday’s primary election involved U.S. House representatives representing residents in the Chicago area and southern Illinois.

The AP officially called the race in García’s favor just before 8 p.m. Tuesday. He has received 69.5% of the vote totals to Lopez’s 30.5% with 47% of votes counted, according to preliminary results. Because no Republicans are running in the race, García will retain his seat.

Davis led a five-candidate field with 52.2% of the votes after 60% of votes have been counted. He is followed by Melissa Conyears-Ervin (21.1%), Kina Collins (19.1%), Nikhil Bhatia (5%) and Kouri Marshall (2.6%). All vote totals are according to preliminary results.

“It’s a reaffirmation that when people have courage, when people have relationships, when people are willing to work and work across racial, ethnic and party lines, that people work for the good out the hood, the good of the community,” Davis said in his victory speech Tuesday night.

4th Congressional District

García has previously cruised to victory in his past elections and has now earned a fourth term in Congress representing what is a predominately Hispanic district. He hadn’t faced a primary challenger since he assumed office in 2019.

During his time in Washington, D.C., García has focused on issues of transportation — he serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee — and immigration, calling himself a “proven champion for working-families and immigrants.”

In declaring victory, García also called for abortion rights to be codified, an improved immigration system and lower health care costs for residents.

Lopez, a conservative Democrat who has served on Chicago’s City Council since 2015, called García “too extreme” and said the district needs someone who better represents its view. García has been deeply critical of Mayor Brandon Johnson and his predecessor, Lori Lightfoot, and said Lopez hasn’t done enough to improve infrastructure issues in suburban areas hit by flooding last year.

Both candidates have also said they want to protect DACA recipients.

García said the district’s migrant shelters have become a model for others, but Lopez has criticized his opponent for being “woefully silent” about border security.

The 4th District includes Southwest Side neighborhoods like Little Village, Brighton Park, and extends into the suburbs of Cicero, Oak Brook, Melrose Park and Northlake.

7th Congressional District

Davis first assumed office in 1997. He said that seniority in Congress gives him a leg up in the race as he currently seeks a 15th term.

“I know all the players, I know all the people, I know the leadership,” he told WTTW News, “but most importantly I am productive.”

Davis is a member of the Ways and Means Committee and said he’s currently the 24th most senior member of the U.S. House. But he only eeked out a win over Collins in the 2022 Democratic primary.

Davis’ challengers believe change can no longer wait. Collins, a nonprofit executive director and activist who Davis narrowly defeated in his 2022 primary, said the urgency around the gun violence epidemic, climate change and a lack of local grocery stores in district neighborhoods has pushed her to run again.

“The job description for Congress has changed,” she told WTTW News, claiming that Davis has missed more House votes than any other Democrat and has served in his role since Collins was 5 years old. “I think it’s time that we usher in a new leader.”

Conyears-Ervin, who was elected as Chicago treasurer in 2019 and served in the Illinois House, has supported Davis in the past, but she now believes the 7th District needs someone in Washington, D.C., “who understands it, and will fight for it.”

“My heart is full because I am so grateful,” Conyears-Earvin said late Tuesday. “This has been a long journey, but it’s been a journey worth taking.”

Conyears-Ervin received backing from the Chicago Teachers Union, which cited her work to restore the union’s bargaining rights and support of an elected Chicago school board.

Also running were Kouri Marshall, a former executive staffer for Gov. J.B. Pritzker, and Nikhil Bhatia, who teaches at Gary Comer College Prep on the South Side.

Marshall said residents of the district are looking for better schools, increased job prospects and decreased crime. Bhatia said he is running, in part, to protect kids from gun violence and to help prevent climate change.

Davis will now face Republican Chad Koppie, who ran unopposed in his primary, in November.

The 7th District includes the Loop and parts of the Near North Side, extending south into Englewood and stretching west into the suburbs of Oak Park and Bellwood.

Rep. Mike Bost is challenged by state Sen. Darren Bailey. (Campaign photos)Rep. Mike Bost is challenged by state Sen. Darren Bailey. (Campaign photos)

12th Congressional District

Five-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Bost declared victory over state Sen. Darren Bailey in the heated 12th District race between downstate Republicans.

Bost has received 53.1% of the votes, compared to Bailey’s 46.9%, with 81% of total votes counted, according to preliminary results. The Associated Press has not called the race as of Tuesday evening, but Bost declared victory, saying in a social media post: “From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU Southern Illinois! We have won this race!”

Bailey has also reportedly conceded the race.

Former President Donald Trump endorsed Bailey when he unsuccessfully ran for Illinois governor in 2022, but this time around Trump has backed Bost, saying the incumbent has been “working hard to secure the border, champion American agriculture, strengthen the military, grow the economy, and protect and defend our under-siege Second Amendment.”

Bost hasn’t faced a primary challenger since 2018.

According to the Associated Press, Bailey believes Trump’s endorsement “didn’t move the needle much,” and has instead focused on a grassroots campaign.

“Being a farmer, you have good years, you have bad years. When you have those bad years, you buckle down, and you work harder,” Bailey said earlier this month, according to the AP. “We keep going because people need encouragement. They’re frustrated, they’re concerned. We bring hope and they know that they’re going to have somebody who’s going to be fighting for them.”

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors