During a campaign event outside of his West Side district office at 2813 W. 5th Ave, longtime Congressman Danny K. Davis (7th) announced on Aug. 8 that he’s running for another term.
Based on the showing at the launch event, the congressman has already significant support. Former Gov. Pat Quinn, World Business Chicago CEO Andrea Zopp, Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), Ald Jason Ervin (28th), Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29th), City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin and Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi were among the slew of powerbrokers in attendance. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was not present, but sent a surrogate as a show of support.
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 congresspersons, 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.