Democratic Rep. Danny Davis Survives Progressive Primary Challenge In Chicago

The longtime incumbent held off Kina Collins after he got Joe Biden's endorsement.
Rep. Danny Davis addresses the congregation at New Galilee Baptist Church during a campaign stop on May 29 in Chicago's Lawndale neighborhood.
Rep. Danny Davis addresses the congregation at New Galilee Baptist Church during a campaign stop on May 29 in Chicago's Lawndale neighborhood.
Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune via Getty Images

A late endorsement from President Joe Biden helped longtime Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) survive a primary challenge from progressive Kina Collins on Tuesday night and win a 13th term representing Chicago in the House.

Collins, a 31-year-old gun violence prevention activist, had won endorsements from a host of progressive groups, including Justice Democrats and the Sunrise Movement. The 80-year-old Davis had more establishment support, with the state AFL-CIO and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker both endorsing him.

Relatively late in the race — on Sunday morning, well after the start of early voting — Biden endorsed Davis, calling him “an effective leader and lawmaker who is deeply rooted in his community.”

Collins responded by saying the endorsement showed Davis’ desperation: “He knows that voters are ready for a new generation of people-powered leadership.”

However, she wasn’t a total underdog. After falling short in a previous challenge to Davis in 2020, Collins outraised him by roughly $150,000 and outspent him this time around. She also earned the backing of the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune, the state’s largest newspaper.

Davis has long been a reliable liberal vote — he’s a former member of the Democratic Socialists of America. But Collins argued the majority-Black 7th District could use a more vital and active member.

The district is safely Democratic in November.

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