During a campaign event outside of his district offices on Chicago’s West Side, longtime Congressman Danny K. Davis (7th) announced on Aug. 8 that he’s running for another term.
Several suburban political leaders, including Cook County Assessor and Oak Park resident Fritz Kaegi, Bellwood Mayor Andre Harvey and Forest Park Mayor Rory Hoskins, spoke in support of Davis at Sunday’s launch.
“I’m so happy to be here today to stand next to Danny, because Danny’s been standing next to me for well over 30 years,” said Harvey. “He’s been my mentor, he’s been a friend to the village of Bellwood … and we’re going to make sure everyone in Bellwood and the Proviso Township area support Danny.”
Hoskins said he’s known Davis for about 20 years and considers him “something of a mentor,” adding that since he took office in Forest Park, Davis “has been that much more of a mentor.”
During his remarks, Davis talked about the Second Chance Act — legislation the West Side congressman introduced in 2007 that has helped smoothen the path to reentry for prisoners around the country.
Davis also touted the Community Renewal and New Markets Act, legislation that the congressman said was “the last bill that Bill Clinton signed when he was president” and that “has brought billions of dollars in reinvestment to our disadvantaged communities all over America.”
Davis, who took office in 1997, said his decision to run for reelection wasn’t necessarily a foregone conclusion.
“I almost decided that I wouldn’t run for office,” the congressman said. “Well, I got a book to write. I’ve got some other things to do.”
Davis, however, said the political climate is favorable to Black lawmakers, citing the role his colleague, South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn, played in Joe Biden’s presidential bid. Many political observers consider the South Carolina powerbroker’s endorsement of Biden as the decisive factor that helped him win the Democratic Primary election.
Davis said that leverage among Democratic congresspeople, particularly Black lawmakers, has extended to policymaking in the House.
“Let me tell you, this environment is so good,” Davis said, before talking about his role as chairman of the Worker and Family Support subcommittee on the influential House Ways and Means Committee.
As subcommittee chairman, Davis helped steer through $1.9 trillion in federal stimulus contained in this year’s American Rescue Plan Act, legislation that resulted in increased child tax credits for low-income working families.
As with the last two primary elections, Davis will face at least one much younger opponent attempting to stake a claim to the left of the incumbent.
Austin resident Kina Collins ran against Davis in the last Democratic Primary, but she’s coming in with much more momentum this time around, garnering major endorsements and even doubling Davis’ second quarter fundraising total.
On Sunday, Davis addressed what he said was a criticism he’d heard Collins lodge against him, involving his lack of presence in the community. The congressman’s response may have reflected just how tense the race can get in the months to come.
“My mama would say that the good Lord said, ‘A liar [won’t] tarry [in God’s] sight,” Davis said.
In June, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill moving Illinois’ primary election from March 2022 to June 2022, in order to make voting more accessible for residents.