Panther to politician: Bobby Rush wins again

Bobby Rush celebrating his victory in 2016 congressional election - Photo Credit: Eddy "Precise" Lamarre
Bobby Rush celebrating his victory in the 2016 Democratic primary (Photo credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre)

As the election results rolled in, a sense of excitement and affirmation filled the campaign headquarters of Bobby Rush. Once again Bobby Rush will be one step closer to being the U. S. Representative for Illinois’ 1st Congressional District. He beat his opponents handily. The results were clear after the polls closed; however, Rush was gracious enough not to claim victory until he received the concession call from his most determined opponent. Once word was received that the call had taken place, the celebration began. There were no streamers or chants of we are the champions or even any shouting. The feeling in  Rush’s headquarters seemed to be, “We are here again and we have work to do.”

Rush is going into his 34th year as a politician and seeking his 13th term as a U.S. Representative. During his tenure he has helped to pass bills with regard to nursing shortages (Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas), postpartum depression (Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act) and gun violence introducing the (Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act).

His breadth of experience is vast and his actions with regard to his community are clear and for the benefit of his people. This is in line with his work as a Black Panther. Rush was the co-founder of the Illinois faction of the Black Panther Party. He became leader after Fred Hampton was killed by Chicago police in a raid. Rush has maintained his position as a revolutionary. In 2012 Rush stood in solidarity with the youth by wearing a hoodie in support of Trayvon Martin who was gunned down in Florida by George Zimmerman. When addressing Congress on the matter, Rush had this to say: “Too often this violent act that resulted in the murder of Trayvon Martin is repeated in the streets of our nation. I applaud the young people all across the land who are making a statement about hoodies, about the real hoodlums in this nation. Particularly those who tread on our laws wearing official or quasi official clothes.” Once he finished his statement, he removed his jacket under which he had on a hoodie. He pulled the hood over his head and stood in defiance. Rush was immediately removed from the House floor.

During his victory speech, Rush detailed plans of re-establishing vocational schools in the City of Chicago. Dunbar High School on the South Side will be the first school on the list. Rush also spoke of being the leading Democrat on the Energy and Power Subcommittee. His goal is to increase job opportunities for minorities in this field. Congratulations to Congressman Rush for winning the Democratic primary. He will be running against Republican August Deuser in the general election in November.

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