Endorsement: Schakowsky for Congress in 9th District
For years, we have pointed to U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky as a bit too liberal for our tastes. For years, we've endorsed her anyway, impressed by her hard work and passion for her job and for the people of the 9th Congressional District. This year is no exception, though there is a twist.
Unlike her last campaign, Schakowsky faces a credible Republican opponent in Joan McCarthy Lasonde of Wilmette. We find Lasonde likable and articulate, but her lack of elected political experience makes her not quite prepared for such an important position in such challenging times.
Schakowsky, of Evanston, has deep knowledge in foreign policy and on major issues facing the district, which includes parts of Des Plaines, Mount Prospect and Arlington Heights before swinging east to Chicago and the North Shore. She has been attentive to constituents' needs, which lately have been largely about health coverage. (A backer of the Affordable Care Act, she has introduced a bill for a public option to compete with the major insurance carriers, intended to cut costs.)
Statistics gathered at govtrack.us confirm our impressions: Schakowsky is ranked 14th most progressive out of 192 House Democrats, partly reflecting a district that has supported every Democratic presidential candidate this century with at least a 65 percent vote.
In Congress, Schakowsky rarely misses a vote and ranks high for bills introduced, bills co-sponsored and cooperative work with senators, but low on bipartisanship. That gives us pause, but not enough to outweigh the attributes that lead us to endorse her.