March 20, 2024

Davis Cruises to Illinois Primary Win in 7th District Congressional Race

By Kristen Hodge
@redlineproject

Danny Davis photoDanny Davis makes his way to the podium. (Photo/Kristen Hodge)

For more than 40 years, Danny Davis has been a mainstay in Chicago politics.

The 82-year-old Democrat formerly served on the Cook County Board of Commissioners and Chicago City Council before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996 to represent Illinois’ 7th Congressional District and serving since 1997.

In the hotly contested Democratic primary for Illinois’ 7th Congressional District, veteran congressman Davis prevailed over two determined opponents to win reelection. Since 1997, Davis has represented the West Side of Chicago and a few surrounding suburbs. In a race that showcased opposing ideas for the district’s future, Davis easily defeated longtime rival Kina Collins and City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin.

Davis received 37,416 votes, (53.1% of the total cast), nearly 32 percentage points more than Conyears-Ervin, who received  15,271 votes. Collins, who has run for the seat twice before,  trailed behind with 18.0% and 12,649.

Despite concerns about his age and proficiency in office, Davis has dominated the polls and will continue his duties as U.S. Representative. He called Tuesday night a “victory for senior citizens” in his speech.

With the strong support of the community, Davis has been proactive in making progressive changes for the district. 

Many members of his community and supporters of his campaign gathered at the Westside Baptist Conference Center in Chicago for the election party. Throughout the night, attendees were elated and in a celebratory spirit after the announcement of his reelection. 

Davis’ staff members were among the crowd of attendees who strongly supported his campaigns and commended his involvement in the community. Marquetta Smith, deputy district director for Davis, has been an essential part of his campaign. 

“He does 100 percent of whatever extra we do. Despite his age, he has more energy than we do,” she said. “I work here in the district office, and he is great to work with. We still have to do our congressional work, and he believes in us being hands-on and never missing a phone call, although the phones are always ringing.” 

Davis’ staff members are committed to working tirelessly alongside Davis, who sets a high standard for dedication and hard work. Despite the demanding nature of their jobs, they strive to uphold their responsibilities and make a positive impact in the community. 

Paul Jakes Jr., assistant to Davis and faith-based coordinator, holds Davis in high regard for his campaign efforts and leadership skills. 

“If you understand politics, you understand you are in the presence of power,” he said. “Power means that even though he is an elderly individual, you have to have seniority to have power in the house to get legislation passed and make sure that money moves from the federal level to the state level. I’m excited to be a part of this because I know how the government works, and I’m with someone who makes it work.”

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