Variety of challengers for U.S. Congress
Updated: January 30, 2012 10:04AM
The filing deadline for U.S. Congressional candidates passed Tuesday evening, and several incumbents are finding challengers to their seats.
In the 3rd Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Daniel Lipinski of Western Springs is being challenged in the primary by Chicago resident Farah Baqai, who works as a Chicago police officer.
On the Republican side, attorney Jim Falvey of Western Springs, Arthur J. Jones of Lyons, an insurance sales representative; and Richard L. Grabowski of Hometown, a supervisor at a manufacturing company have filed to be on the March 20 ballot.
The district includes La Grange, Western Springs and Indian Head Park.
In the 4th Congressional District, which includes Westchester and LaGrange Park, incumbent Luis Gutierrez faces a challenge in the Democratic primary from Jorge Zavala of Chicago.
Gutierrez, of Chicago, seeks his 11th terms in the U.S. House. He is a graduate of Northeastern Illinois University and has worked as a teacher, social worker, cab driver and Chicago city official, according to a biography on his website, www.gutierrez.house.gov.
Zavala has worked in education and taught with the City Colleges of Chicago from 2003 to 2005, according to his website, friendsforzavala.com. He has advocated for various public projects in Chicago. He has previously worked with the organization Mexicans Abroad Developing Support and ran for alderman in the City of Park Ridge.
On the Republican ticket, only one person, Hector Concepcion, had filed to run in the primary. Concepcion lists himself as CEO and president of the organization Progressive Minds Kids Educational Program and works in stock trading, according to his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/concepcionforuscongress2012. He studied general business at College of Lake County.
In the 5th Congressional, incumbent congressman Mike Quigley, D-5th, can relax until after the March primary. No Democrat had filed to run against Quigley by the filing deadline Tuesday evening, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections website. One Republican, Dan Schmitt of Chicago, had filed in the Republican primary.
Schmitt, of Chicago’s North Side, is 62 years old and self-employed, according to his website www.schmittforillinois.com. He grew up in the Albany Park neighborhood and attended St. George’s High School in Evanston.
Schmitt could not be reached Tuesday for comment.
Quigley was elected to the U.S. Congress in 2009, taking over the 5th district from Rahm Emanuel, who was tapped as chief of staff for President Barack Obama.
Chicagoan Quigley began his political career as an aide to 44th Ward Alderman Bernie Hansen. Quigley was elected to the 10th district of the Cook County Board, where he served more than 20 years.
Quigley earned a bachelor’s degree from Roosevelt University, a masters in public policy from the University of Chicago and a law degree from Loyola University, according to his website www.quigleyforcongress.com.
He sits on the House Committee on the Judiciary and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He lives in Lakeview.
The 5th congressional district contains Elmwood Park, River Grove, Schiller Park, Franklin Park, parts of Melrose Park and Stone Park and a good chunk of the North Side of Chicago. It also includes Oak Brook and Hinsdale within its boundaries.
In the 6th Congressional District, Republican incumbent Peter J. Roskam of Wheaton won’t be challenged within his own party. However, in the Democratic primary, Leslie Coolidge of Barrington Hills, a certified public accountant; Geoffrey Petzel of Lake Zurich, who owns a small real estate business; Tim Ritter of Cary and Maureen E. Yates of Barrington, who is retired, have all filed.
The district includes Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills and Burr Ridge.
In the 7th Congressional District, Jacques A. Conway of River Forest will take on incumbent Danny K. Davis of Chicago for the Democratic primary.
The recently redrawn district now includes portions of Westchester and LaGrange Park, as well as areas east to Chicago’s lakefront.
Conway is a lifelong Chicago area resident and pastor of Neighborhood United Methodist in Maywood, also within the 7th District. He is a retired Oak Park police officer who now serves as the department’s chaplain. Conway is a former member of the Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 board.
Davis, 70, has represented the 7th Congressional District since 1996, after serving six years on the Cook County Board and 11 years as a Chicago alderman in the 29th Ward. Born in Parkdale, Ark., in 1941, Davis moved to Chicago in 1961.
Six candidates in the 11th Congressional District have filed for the primary.
Current U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, a Hinsdale Republican, and former Congressman Bill Foster, a Naperville Democrat, are among them. Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham, an Aurora Republican; former Aurora Township Clerk Juan Thomas, an Aurora Democrat; and Orland Fire Protection District President James Hickey, a Orland Park Democrat, have also filed. Former Joliet mayoral candidate and community activist Diane Harris, a Republican, also filed to run in the Republican primary. Harris works at ComEd.
Among various towns, the 11th Congressional includes Burr Ridge.
Staff Writers Sandy Illian Bosch, Chuck Fieldman and Mark Lawton as well as the Naperville Sun contributed to this report