Garcia projected as winner over Lopez in 4th District Democratic primary

U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia fended off a challenge by Chicago Alderman Raymond Lopez in the Democratic primary for Illinois’ 4th Congressional District, with The Associated Press calling the race less than an hour after polls closed Tuesday night.

With 59% of ballots counted, Garcia was ahead with 28,131 votes, or 69% of the total; Lopez had 12,638 votes, about 31%, unofficial results showed.

Garcia, a longtime figure in Chicago progressive politics, is seeking a fourth term in Congress. Lopez, one of the more centrist voices on the Chicago City Council, has been the 15th Ward alderman since 2015.

“What a night for democracy and for our communities and our movement,” Garcia told cheering supporters at his victory party in Chicago’s Brighton Park neighborhood. “We showed everyone across the country paying close attention to this race that hate and the right-wing attempt to hijack our movement will not succeed.”

In a new term, Garcia said he would work to fix a broken immigration system, push for additional gun control measures including an assault weapons ban, vote to codify abortion rights, and reduce the cost of insulin and other medications.

Lopez said he called Garcia to congratulate him.

“Hopefully this will be a wake-up call for many members of Congress who saw challenges in the primary that they need to start delivering for their districts,” Lopez said.

During the campaign, Garcia and Lopez differed most on foreign policy, having been on opposite ends of federal and local resolutions calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.

Garcia criticized Israel’s response to the terror attacks as “over the top,” while Lopez said Hamas must return all hostages before a cease-fire agreement.

An eleventh hour Election Day controversy erupted Tuesday morning, when Garcia’s campaign filed a complaint against Lopez for giving out coffee, doughnuts and envelopes with $50 in cash to election judges in the 15th Ward.

Lopez said as the ward’s Democratic committeeman, it’s customary to provide judges who work a 13-hour day with breakfast and lunch.

The Illinois attorney general’s office confirmed to ABC 7 it is looking into Garcia’s complaint.

The 4th District stretches from Chicago’s Southwest Side — where both candidates live — to parts of suburban Cook and DuPage counties, including portions of Hinsdale, Oak Brook and Elmhurst. No Republican is on the primary ballot.

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