Up against pastor, Schakowsky projected to win 9th Congressional District race


Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) greets a constituent. Election forecast websites predicted Schakowsky will successfully defend her seat in November.

Emma Edmund, Reporter

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) is projected to handily win November’s race for Illinois’ 9th Congressional District.

According to a FiveThirtyEight election forecast, the incumbent Schakowsky has a 99 percent chance of defending her seat on Nov. 6 against Republican pastor John Elleson. The Cook Political Report also projects Schakowsky’s seat in the House will be a solid Democratic win.

Schakowsky has served as the Illinois’ 9th District representative since 1998, and she has been endorsed by both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. She faced no Democratic opponents in the primary.

Her main cause, according to a questionnaire sent out by the Sun-Times, is ensuring affordable health care. A proponent of the Affordable Care Act, Schakowsky also supports the right for each woman to have abortion coverage, according to her website.

“Access to the full range of reproductive health services and ensuring that Roe v. Wade is protected not just in statute but in practice remains a top priority, especially given assaults by the Republican Congress on Planned Parenthood and a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions,” Schakowsky wrote to the Sun-Times.

Schakowsky has also advocated for creating jobs by investing in infrastructure and education, supporting parents’ caregiving needs and reversing the Trump administration’s immigration policies. Schakowsky also supports unions: On Oct. 4, 2018, she was one of 54 people arrested at McDonald’s as part of the “Fight for $15” minimum wage and union rights campaign.

Elleson, who has never served in office, beat three other candidates with 40.2 percent of the vote to become the Republican Party’s candidate for the House race. However, in Evanston, he only won by 0.8 percent of the vote — just a mere 5 votes — against businessman Sargis Sangari.

Elleson notes on his website that he wants to reform the healthcare system by lowering costs, strengthen the economy by reducing regulation and bringing more jobs to the district, and improve national security.

“If we want people to move into our state and not out of it, then we need to lower taxes,” Elleson’s campaign website reads. “Federal, state and property (taxes) are way too high.”

The Tribune reported that Elleson, who was charged in 2003 for theft while working in Hawaii, pleaded “no contest” and the case was dismissed after a five-year deferral period.

FiveThirtyEight forecasts a 46.3 percent voter turnout in the 9th District this November. All of suburban Cook County saw a 49.8 percent voter turnout in the 2014 midterm election and a 72.1 percent voter turnout in the 2016 presidential election.

There are more than 30 polling stations in Evanston, and residents can find their polling station online at the Cook County Clerk’s Office website.

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