SMOOTH SAILING: Congressman Danny K. Davis easily defeated challenger Anthony Clark in the Democratic Primary race for the 7th District Congressional seat. | File

Congressman Danny K. Davis (7th) easily prevailed over challenger Anthony Clark in the March 20 Democratic primary election. As of March 25, Davis was up 76 percent to 26 percent, with 98 percent of precincts in the city and suburbs reporting. 

Clark, however, fared much better in the suburbs, garnering around 40 percent of the vote, according to the Cook County Clerk’s Office. Davis won roughly 80 percent of the vote in the city. 

On the West Side, in the 24th, 28th, 29th and 37th Wards, Davis garnered 89 percent, 84 percent, 83 percent and 87 percent, respectively.

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.”

With the primary election over, Davis is now poised to face Craig Cameron, a Chicago construction manager who beat River Forest physician Jeffrey Leef in the Republican Primary, 57 percent to 43 percent. 

Around 6,300 voters cast ballots in the 7th District Republican Primary, compared to more than 105,000 ballots that were cast in the Democratic Primary. The general election is on Nov. 6.