From newspaper columnist Russ Stewart:
TH DISTRICT: This north Lakefront/North Shore district which extends from the Lakefront to Wauconda, is crammed with pent-up demand for congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s (D-9) seat, which won’t be open until 2026 at the earliest. Schakowsky, age 79, of Evanston, is one of ex-speaker Nancy Pelosi’s inner-circle.
Others in that crowd include Californians Zoe Lofgren (D-18), age 75, of San Jose, and Anna Eshoo (D-16), age 80, of Palo Alto, and Connecticut’s Rosa DeLauro (D-3), age 80, of New Haven. Pelosi is age 83 and gave up her leadership this year after Republicans won the House in 2022.
All, including Schakowsky, are running for re-election in 2024.
And all are well past their prime, as is their contemporary, 80-year old Joe Biden. Did that movie “80 for Brady” do well? Oh yeah, $40 million.
Schakowsky was elected in 1998, topping both state Senator Howie Carroll and a young Pritzker in the primary (D) with 45.2 percent.
She has never really had a primary and beat Republicans with 70-percent-plus.
Up until the 1990s the 9th was Illinois’ “Jewish seat,” concentrated along the north Lakefront from the Gold Coast to Rogers Park and west to Lincoln Square and Bowmanville. Its congressman was the venerable Sidney Yates, an icon in the Chicago Jewish community who served 48 of the 50 years between 1948 and 1998.
The 1991 remap added Evanston, Niles, Skokie, Morton Grove, Glenview, Lincolnwood and Wilmette.
Schakowsky, who is Jewish, won in 1998 because she got 70 percent in her Evanston base and Carroll only 50 percent in his 50th Ward base. Pritzker was the spoiler.
Later remaps ran the 9th out to Park Ridge and Des Plaines, and the 2021 remap extended it out to Barrington, Buffalo Grove, Vernon Hills, Cary and Wauconda, [and Crystal Lake] and up to Northfield.
It also kept five Chicago wards – the 50th (West Rogers Park), 49th (Rogers Park), 48th (Edgewater), 46th (Uptown) and 47th (Lincoln Square). Schakowsky got 71 percent in 2022.
The congresswoman is 4th-ranking Democrat on the powerful Energy/Commerce Committee and chaired the Innovation, Data subcommittee.
She can raise whatever money she needs.
But if Republicans keep the House, she may decide along with her pals to bail in 2026.
And there will be no dearth of wannabe successors: Evanston mayor Dan Biss, who ran for governor in 2018; county commissioner Josina Morita, of Skokie; state Senator Laura Fine (D-9), of Glenview; Des Plaines mayor Andrew Goczkowski, a Schakowsky staffer; Alderman Matt Martin (47th) and Alderwoman Angela Clay (46th); and maybe Alderwoman Debra Silversten (50th).
In a 5-6 candidate field, the winner needs just 25 percent.
That means either Biss, who will surely get Schakowsky’s endorsement and money connections, or Clay, a “democratic socialist” Woke/Leftist. If Trump is president in 2026, it will be Clay.