Dick Durbin to endorse Paul Vallas in heated Chicago Mayoral Race

Dick Durbin
FILE – Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., speaks during a news conference with members of Senate Democratic leadership, Dec. 6, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Senate is taking the first steps to repeal two measures giving open-ended approval for military action in Iraq, moving to end that authority as the United States marks the 20th anniversary of the Iraq war. Senators will take a procedural vote Thursday to take up legislation that would repeal the 2002 measure that greenlighted that March 2003 invasion of Iraq, along with a separate 1991 measure that sanctioned the U.S.-led Gulf War to expel Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait. Durbin said on the floor ahead of Thursday’s vote that, “As I look back on it, as I’m sure others do, as one of the most important votes that I ever cast.” (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File) Mariam Zuhaib/AP

Dick Durbin to endorse Paul Vallas in heated Chicago Mayoral Race

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Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) will endorse Paul Vallas in the heated contest for Chicago mayor in a boost for the moderate Democrat, according to Vallas’s campaign.

Durbin’s endorsement loomed large over the battle between Vallas, former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, and his more progressive rival, Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson. Vallas’s campaign announced Sunday the endorsement will take place at the Greek Independence Day Parade in the afternoon.

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Vallas has earned endorsements from groups such as the Fraternal Order of Police, pro-police city council members, and more. He has cast himself as the law and order candidate and taken more moderate positions on a host of issues.

Polls have pegged the race to be neck-and-neck but largely appear to show Vallas with a slight edge over Johnson, who has earned the backing of progressive stars such as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Both are squaring off in the April 4 runoff after no candidate gained an outright majority in the Feb. 28 election.

Durbin, one of the most prominent politicians in Illinois, sat out of the first round in the mayor’s race. He also declined to endorse in the 2019 contest that was won by current Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who lost her reelection bid in the first round last month, rendering her the first incumbent to lose since 1989.

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Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), the other senator from the Land of Lincoln, has not endorsed a candidate. Meanwhile, Illinois Reps. Jonathan Jackson, Delia Ramirez, Danny Davis, and Jan Schakowsky have all thrown their weight behind Johnson.

Lightfoot’s defeat last month sparked national attention and sparked a renewed push by some Democrats to combat crime ahead of the 2024 elections.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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