Gutierrez’ impact — In Illinois’ 4th Congressional District, Cook County Comm. Chuy Garcia picked up a Bernie Sanders endorsement for his run after being tapped as the successor to Democratic U.S. Rep Luis Gutierrez in what became a two-day media cyclone, upending the Chicago district’s political pecking order. Meanwhile, the only woman in the race, Sole Flores, picked up an endorsement from Ameya Pewar. Over in Illinois House District 3, Gutierrez is backing Lourdes Ramos against incumbent state Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago). Gutierrez’ abrupt decision to step down from his post may lighten the impact of an otherwise significant endorsement, but Capitol Fax’ Rich Miller is warning it could get heated in the early stages.
Proft pop-ups — Another Dan Proft candidate emerged this week. In the solidly-red Illinois House District 108, state Rep. Charles Meier (R-Highland) hasn’t seen a primary challenger since 2012 when he narrowly nabbed a win against two opponents. Even in 2012, Meier grabbed 66% of the vote in the general. Now he’ll face Donald Moore (R-Troy), the Madison County Board member who’s been stumping since October against Meier’s aye-vote on Rauner’s vetoed tax hike.
Silverstein’s seat — It’s getting crowded in Illinois Senate District 8, as incumbent Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) faces an investigation into sexual harassment and ethics violations. Even so, Silverstein filed this week. A standout among his primary challengers is U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider’s (D-10) former political director, Ram Villivalam. As Mary Ann Hern writes, “Also endorsing Villivalam is State Rep. Theresa Mah and Water Reclamation District Commissioner Josina Morita. Mah and Morita, like Villivalam, have Asian-American roots. Mah is the first Asian-American member of the Illinois House and Morita is the first Asian-American elected to a Cook County-wide board. Should Villivalam win, he would be the first Asian-American elected to the Illinois State Senate.”