Endorsements in the Third

By Kevin Robinson in News on Dec 6, 2007 2:20PM

One of the races that we've been watching this winter is the Democratic Primary in the 3rd Congressional District. Incumbent Dan Lipinski is hoping voters will send him back to D.C. for a third term, but he's facing a tough challenge from Mark Pera, an assistant county prosecutor from Western Springs. That challenge may have gotten a little tougher yesterday when Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool endorsed Pera.

2007_12_pera.jpgIf you don't remember the 2004 general election, the elder Lipinski won renomination in the primary, withdrew during the campaign year, and then led the process to pick his replacement on the November ballot — settling on his son Dan, a political science professor from Tennessee. Although that nepotistic sleight of hand pissed off some voters in the southwest side district, it wasn't enough to stop him from being re-elected in '06. Claypool summed up some of that frustration yesterday, saying "voters are ready to turn the page on old-style patronage politics. We need new independent leaders who will serve only the public interest, not the interests of ward bosses, lobbyists and special interests. ... I look forward to seeing him serve the 3rd district in the U.S. Congress." Claypool isn't the only independent Democrat to come out for Pera. Chicago Aldermen Manny Flores, Brendan Reilly, and Scott Waguespack are hosting a fundraiser for Pera next Thursday, December 13, at Cleo's (on Armitage). Getting fundraising help and endorsements from anti-machine Democrats is a key part of the Pera strategy. Whether he can turn out the vote against an incumbent congressman who has the backing of the Machine remains to be seen.