Gong-Gershowitz wins crowded Democratic primary for 17th District state representative

Rachel Kupfer, Reporter

Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz has bested four other candidates in the Democratic primary for the Illinois 17th District state representative seat, moving one step closer to filling the open position.

State Rep. Laura Fine, who served three terms in this position, vacated her seat to run unopposed in the Democratic primary for state senate in the 9th District.

Gong-Gershowitz won Tuesday with an estimated 36 percent of the vote. With nearly all precincts reporting, she was about 400 votes ahead of Candance Chow, who finished a close second with 34 percent.

Gong-Gershowitz will face Republican Peter Lee, who ran unopposed, in November’s general election.

The human rights attorney, who has represented victims of human trafficking and forced marriage, comes from an immigrant background, giving her “a unique ability to build connections and find common ground among different perspectives,” she said on her website.

“Having worked in the legal field representing individuals who have not had their voices heard, I bring a unique perspective of understanding the real impact of failed policies and the way government plays a role in our society,” Gong-Gershowitz said in an earlier statement.

Gong-Gershowitz would represent parts of Evanston, Glenview, Golf, Morton Grove, Northbrook, Skokie and Wilmette in the Illinois House of Representatives.

Sporting endorsements from Fine, U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) and the Illinois Federation of Teachers, Gong-Gershowitz built her platform around a progressive income tax, increased gun control, protections on Planned Parenthood funding and provisions for immigrant children to become citizens.

“Standing up for what I believe in is at the core of who I am,” she said on her website. “Our democracy thrives when all voices have equal opportunity to be heard.”

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