Gabel secures endorsements from Tribune, Sun-Times


Colin Boyle/Daily Senior Staffer

A campaign sign for state Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston). Gabel was endorsed by both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times.

Joshua Irvine, Reporter

Chicago’s two largest newspapers have endorsed state Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) for the 18th House district over Republican challenger and health care consultant Julie Cho.

The Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune both offered their endorsements of the Democratic incumbent along with endorsements for several other seats in the Illinois House of Representatives in editorials released last week.

Gabel has served as a member of the Illinois House since first being elected in 2010. She ran unopposed in last year’s Democratic primary.

The Sun-Times called Gabel “one of the more capable legislators in Springfield” and praised her implementation of automatic voter registration and the Future Energy Jobs Act, which helped increase solar energy start-ups in the state.

The Tribune said Gabel ought to “stand up” to House Speaker Michael Madigan. However, they still endorsed her, saying “Gabel offers a wider policy agenda (than Republican Julie Cho) and gets rave reviews from local officials.”

“(The Tribune and Sun-Times) recognize my effective legislative career, and I also think that they recognize me as a good public servant,” Gabel told The Daily.

Cho — a first time political candidate and an Illinois resident for 19 years — has focused her campaign on combating gerrymandering. She said gerrymandering affects everybody, “minority or not” by taking away their voting power.

Cho said her campaign’s focus is greater than winning the district seat.

“It’s not about winning the race necessarily,” Cho said. “It was about what do we do? What’s impacting our community? … What can we do to fight for our community?’”

Bobby Burns, Cho’s campaign manager, said despite the fact the Tribune endorsed Gabel, the editorial supported Cho’s call for nonpartisan redistricting.

“It almost felt like it was an endorsement for Julie’s campaign as well,” Burns said.

Burns agreed with the Tribune that Gabel’s support for Madigan was bad for Illinois.

Gabel responded to Burn’s comments, saying she has a strong record of political and legislative support for voting rights. She cited her involvement in the campaigns of former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and current U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) when he ran for 26th Ward alderman in 1986.

“I have spent my career working on self-determination for minority populations and for voting rights,” Gabel said.

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