Congressman Danny K. Davis (7th) easily prevailed over challenger Anthony Clark in the March 20 Democratic primary election. With roughly 90 percent of precincts reporting as of 10:20 p.m., Davis was up on Clark by a 74 percent to 26 percent margin.
Clark, however, fared much better in the suburbs, garnering nearly 40 percent of the vote, with at least 90 percent of suburban precincts reporting, according to the Cook County Clerk’s Office.
At his election night headquarters at Avenue Ale House in Oak Park, Clark — an Oak Park resident, founder of the nonprofit Suburban Unity Alliance and an Oak Park and River Forest High School teacher — said that the night was just a prelude for what’s to come.
“No question about it,” Clark said, when asked if he plans on running for Congress in the next election.
“You don’t run once,” Clark said. “You run, build a foundation, see where you are, learn from your mistakes and triumphs and move forward. I truly believe that in next election cycle we’re going to obtain what we want.”
The first-time political candidate had framed himself as a new, progressive alternative after being recruited and vetted by left-leaning political organizations Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats last May.
Clark attributed his loss to a low turnout among younger voters and to Davis’ greater name recognition. Nonetheless, he said, the campaign was a win-win for what he called a political movement.
“Elections come and go but movements remain, so no matter what, this was a victory for us,” Clark said. “The incumbents are shaken up now.”
At the Carleton of Oak Park, where supporters of Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin gathered anxiously during the night, Davis appeared nonplussed, as if returning home from a typical day’s work.
“I never had any doubt about what the results would be in terms of my race,” Davis said. “It had to do with name recognition. It had to do with the billions of dollars I brought back to Chicago. It had to do with the bills I passed. It had to do with the integration of myself into the life of the community.”