Camille Lilly and Danny Davis are our choices for 78th District state representative and U.S. Rep. for the 7th Congressional District respectively.
For voters in the newly configured 78th District, there is an interesting choice for state rep in the Democratic primary. It was a hard choice for us. Lilly, a longtime business activist and hospital marketing executive on the West Side, was appointed by Democratic power brokers to fill a vacancy. We've known Lilly for many years and know her to be optimistic, fair, honest and passionate in building her community. We worry that the flip side of that is a naiveté which, while meeting the needs of Springfield honchos, won't permit her to make the tough choices essential in this enormously screwed-up state
Her challenger Michael Nardello combines a social service background with interesting state and municipal budget expertise. He gets how severe the fiscal problems are in Springfield and he is enough of a reformer to grasp how failed politics took us to this precipice. Who gets more accomplished? With hope that the scales can fall from her eyes, that she can recognize in this moment that there are more tough choices to wrangle than relationships to build, we endorse Camille Lilly.
As for the 7th district, when the politics are as similar as incumbent Danny Davis and challenger Jacques Conway, we opt to support the incumbent. Seniority and clout are hard to come by and Danny Davis has earned both. Conway provided valued service in Oak Park and River Forest, as a cop, park board commissioner and a high school board trustee. He's an articulate advocate for young people generally.
Meanwhile, our support of Davis is softening for two reasons. We are tired of his teasing over running for other offices - mayor, county board prez, senator. Enough. Be our congressman. And while we are proudly progressive, we haven't seen Danny Davis move an inch from all-government solutions to every challenge, and we think that is an unacceptable view in this moment.