March 20, 2024

Conyears-Ervin Concedes to Incumbent Davis in 7th District

By Ola Stepien

Conyears-Ervin PhotoMelissa Conyears-Ervin gives her concession speech at Mannys Deli. (Photo/Ola Stepien)

After an intense primary race for the highly contested 7th Congressional District seat, the night quickly finished for candidates — with a familiar result.

Around an hour after the polls closed, the Associated Press called the race with 59% of the votes counted. Incumbent Danny Davis won with around 52% of the vote, while his opponent, Cook County Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin was second with 21% of the vote. Davis, 82, has held the seat since 1997, and Conyears-Ervin was thought to be one of his biggest challenges for the seat.

Conyears-Ervin arrived at her party held at Manny’s Deli at around 8:20 p.m. with a standing ovation from her supporters as she congratulated Davis on advancing to November’s general election. She voiced her support for him in her speech.

“My faith doesn’t waver, and I believe God really has put me here for a time such as this,” she said. “So, I will tell you: do I understand the results? I don’t. But I don’t really lean into my own understanding. I’ve learned in this life to trust the process.”

During the race, Conyears-Ervin has been undergoing an investigation based on ethics violations she conducted in 2020 after hiring two employees after they warned her that she was violating ethics as she used city resources to hold a prayer service. The same employees stated she misused the city’s money, employees and resources for her interests.

Conyears-Ervin photo

Conyears-Ervin receives a kiss from her husband, Ald. Jason Ervin (28th Ward) as
she highlighted his support throughout her campaign. (Photo/Ola Stepien)

The loss came while the Chicago Board of Elections reported a low voter turnout of 19.69% votes.

Kiley Russell, a supporter of Conyears-Ervin, was more hopeful during the election, “There were issues at the precinct also,” she said. “The precinct only had one computer. They had low volunteers at the precinct. So low volunteers, I think three or four people at the precinct total, and that’s a large area, you know, to cover, so that was one issue.”

Russell also discussed Davis’ win last night,

“As of right now, he doesn’t represent our interests,” she said. “So, it’s time for someone who does represent our interests, which Melissa is that person, and it’s unfortunate that you know, Old Chicago, it is what it is.” 

Several other supporters highlighted the sentiment that Davis’ time was up.However, Conyears-Ervin reiterated that her time is not over yet.

“Because people know now that Melissa Conyears-Ervin is a fighter. Melissa Conyears-Ervin, don’t give up. And so, we are grateful. We’re here, we’ll be here,” she said during her concession speech. “The best is yet to come. And so we thank everyone and the voters [who] supported me. And those that did not, who are just being introduced to me, there is much more great work to come.”

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