CHICAGO – Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-4th) says he won’t run again and throws his support to “Chuy” Garcia, at his replacement. Nearly 64, he says he wants a new chapter with his family, and to work outside of Congress for PR and other issues.
Gutierrez says he would not have announced he was not running again if Chuy Garcia had not agreed to run as his replacement. In his statement, Gutierrez noted his support for several controvercial issues over his 24 years in Congress, that he says time has shown that his judgement, and not the majority was correct; NAFTA, Defense of Marriage Act, among them, when he voted in the minority to oppose the issues.
Part of the reason Gutierrez says he is not running again, is due to the damage in Puerto Rico, where Gutierrez was from and where relatives still live. He said he wants to fight on behalf of PR and to have its infrastructure rebuilt to 21st Century standards, but he noted he cannot be in Congress, fight for PR and still have time with his family. He noted that during his 24 years in Congress, he’s spent over 11,000 nights away from his family.
In his statement, Garcia was critical of President Trump’s plan to build a wall along the border. He spoke of Hispanic immigrants who he said live with “Fear and Hardship” everyday in pursuit of the American dream, and cautioned that America should never give in to fear of immigrants.
Garcia said he would also fight on behalf of women’s rights if he were elected. He would try to build coalitions, and work in a bipartisan means with others in Congress.
The announcement by Gutierrez comes at the 11th hour for getting petitions signed to get on the ballot. The deadline for filing petitions for the March primary is Monday, December 4.
But while Gutierrez throws his support behind Garcia, there are others interested in running for the open seat, including Chicago Alderman, Carlos Ramirez Rosa, Alderman Joseph Moreno and Alderman George Cardenas.
The seat is heavily Democratic, and therefore the winner of the March primary is virtually assured to be elected in November 2018.