Rush rolls over his opponents in a landslide

  • Written by By Dermot Connolly

In the 1st Congressional district of Illinois, incumbent Bobby Rush ended up easily beating two Democratic challengers who sought to deny him the nomination for a 13th term in office.

This time around, Howard Brookins, alderman of Chicago’s 21st Ward and a former ally, ran against Rush, with the backing of House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-22nd). So many observers thought the race would be closer this time around. The third candidate in the race was O. Patrick Brutus, the coordinator of economic development for the Chicago Department of Planning and Development.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, according to unofficial results, Rush won in a landslide, with 123,913 votes, or 71 percent of the vote.

Brookins came in a distant second, with 33,416 votes (19 percent), and Brutus was third with 16.218 votes (9 percent).

The 1st District stretches from the South Side of Chicago to Will County, taking in all or parts of Evergreen Park, Oak Lawn, Worth, Palos Heights and Orland Park along the way.

In the suburban Cook County portion of the district, Rush tallied 21,625 votes (63.3 percent), while Brutus came in second, with 6,797 (19.9 percent). Brookins trailed in third, with 16.81 percent (5,742 votes).

Rush’s campaign didn’t start off well, because he had to overcome a challenge to his nominating petitions to even stay in the race. But he sounded a triumphant note when he was declared the winner.

“This campaign started with them saying, ‘We got him!’ They said ‘we knocked him off the ballot.’ Well, I’m here — look at me now,” he said in a triumphant email after the election results came back heavily in his favor.

Asked what he sees as his first goal in his new term, Rush said, “Creating jobs in the energy sector for the 1st District.”

The congressman must first beat the Republican nominee, August Deuser, a Mokena resident, in the Nov. 8 primary, to get to that next term. He is expected to win that race too, in the heavily Democratic district.

According to unofficial results, Deuser received 24,172 votes (74 percent), beating Jimmie Lee Tillman, who received the remaining 26 percent (8,489 votes).

Tillman, who has run unsuccessfully for the 1st District seat twice before, is the son of former Chicago Ald. Dorothy Tillman.

Rush said that in his next term, he plans to focus on “creating jobs in the energy sector for the 1st Congressional District.