Jesus "Chuy" Garcia

Jesus “Chuy” Garcia will face Riverside resident Mark Lorch in November with a seat in Congress at stake.

On March 20, Garcia, a member of the Cook County Board, swept to an easy win in the Democratic primary in the 4th Congressional District. At 10:10 p.m. on election night, with 410 of 445 precincts reporting, Garcia had amassed 66.5 percent of the vote.

Garcia, 61, defeated Sol Flores, the executive director of La Casa Norte, a nonprofit based in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago, and Chicago police officer Richard Gonzalez.

Lorch was unopposed in the Republican primary. Two other Republican candidates were knocked off the ballot after their nominating petitions were challenged.

Garcia was the favorite in the race ever since late November 2017 when longtime incumbent Luis Gutierrez abruptly withdrew from the race and endorsed Garcia to succeed him.

Five other candidates jumped into the race, but four dropped out after concluding that Garcia could not be beaten.

Garcia, who is also a former Chicago alderman and state senator from the Little Village neighborhood of the city, has been active in Chicago progressive politics for more than 35 years. He built great name recognition in his 2015 campaign for mayor of Chicago when he forced Mayor Rahm Emanuel into a runoff.

Flores, 44, had a lot of support in Riverside and the Brookfield portion of the district. In the last week of the campaign Flores, opened up a campaign office in the third floor of the Arcade Building in downtown Riverside. Members of local Indivisible groups campaigned for her.

“I feel Congress needs more women,” said Nancy Borysow of Riverside after voting for Flores at Riverside Township Hall on Tuesday.

But Garcia’s big edge in name recognition and his long history in Chicago politics was too much for Flores to overcome in a district that is centered on the heavily Hispanic near northwest and southwest sides of the city.