Biss selects state representative Wallace as new running mate


Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) speaks in July. The Evanston native on Friday picked State Rep. Litesa Wallace (D-Rockford) as his new running mate in the Illinois gubernatorial election.

Rishika Dugyala, City Editor

State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) announced State Rep. Litesa Wallace (D-Rockford) as his lieutenant governor in the Illinois gubernatorial election on Friday, two days after splitting with his former running mate. 

In a video shared with supporters, Biss and Wallace said their partnership could move Illinois’ middle class and working people forward.

“In the legislature, Daniel and I have fought for childcare assistance, a $15 minimum wage, to expand health care, and to make millionaires pay their fair share,” Wallace said. “And that’s what we’ll fight for in our administration.”

A woman of color, Wallace was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 2014 after a career as a mental health counselor, time as a professor at Northern Illinois University and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and a stint as chief of staff to State Rep. Charles Jefferson (D-Rockford).

Her selection follows the controversy around Biss’s initial pick — Chicago Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), the youngest current alderman and first openly gay Latino to serve on the Chicago City Council.

Ramirez-Rosa and Biss parted ways on Wednesday over a difference in viewpoints about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement — a pro-Palestinian group that calls for a withdrawing of financial and social support for Israel and Israeli companies.

“This election will determine whether we build the progressive Illinois that we know our state can be,” Biss said in the video Friday. “In this election we have a chance to get it right. … Today I’m announcing my running mate, who wasn’t the original choice but is the person we need in this campaign and in this state.”

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