The new 21st District in the Illinois House is a battleground. You can tell by the dollars being shoveled at both of the candidates in the Democratic primary (there are no Republicans running).
There’s no incumbent in the predominantly Latino district, but there are plenty of interest groups who want a say in who gets elected.
Both Rudy Lozano Jr. and Silvana Tabares have sponsors, and they represent the split in the state’s Democratic Party. Lozano’s support is coming overwhelmingly from organized labor. His political allies, meanwhile are anti-machine – like former Chicago alderman and Daley foe Dick Simpson, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Chicago Alderman Ricardo Munoz and Congressman Luis Gutierrez.
His father was the well-known progressive activist Rudy Lozano Sr. The younger Lozano has taken up his father’s mantle. He has worked as a teacher, mentor and organizer on the Southwest Side.
Tabares, a relative unknown, is being bankrolled by other powerful people. Her biggest single donor is the Stand for Children Illinois PAC, the local wing of an Oregon-based organization which has contributed $30,000 to her campaign in the past month and is pushing anti-union education reforms.
She also has the support of Cicero Republicans and Democrats, including Larry Dominick and state Sen. Martin Sandoval, and has received a number of contributions from companies in the construction business.
Neither of these candidates is going to be free of influence after the primary.
However, we’re endorsing Rudy Lozano Jr., who we believe will have the interests of ordinary working men and women in mind rather than the interests of millionaires and billionaires funding PACs like Stand for Children.