Bobby Rush and Don Peloquin will be the two choices for the broad array of Illinois residents living among the new 1st Congressional District.
The two will be vying for a territory that stretches from the inner-city through blue-collar suburbs out to the conservative suburbs and into rural Will County.
The district starts just north of Chicago's Bronzeville community and extends out to Beverly and into several towns west of I-57, such as Evergreen Park, Oak Lawn, Palos Heights, Alsip, Blue Island, Oak Forest, Midlothian and through Tinley Park, Orland Park, Orland Hills, Mokena, New Lenox, Frankfort and several other towns before hitting a rural southwest boundary in Elwood.
Peloquin, 61, has served as Blue Island mayor since 1985 after four years spent as alderman. During his time in office, he worked to keep the former St. Francis Hospital open as MetroSouth Medical Center in 2008. Peloquin is co-owner and president of Hickey Memorial Chapel.
Peloquin favors repealing the Affordable Health Care Act and has said government should be minimally involved with private sector business.
“We're gonna go to Bobby Rush and say, 'Here's what we're gonna do. Can you do better?' He's had 20 years," Peloquin said at his election-day after party.
Peloquin said the next few months will be about building from the ground up on the issue everyone in the diverse district has in common. Two of the projects on his mind Tuesday as the votes were steadily mounting were building a south suburban airport and completing the interchange at I-57 and I-294, both of which would help link the region together and provide jobs, he said.
Peloquin won against two other candidates who campaigned for the Republican seat.
Rush, 65, has held the seat since 1992. Born in Albany, Georgia, Rush and his family moved to Chicago’s West Side when he was 8 months old. During his time in the congressional seat, Rush has supported the Telecommunications Act of 1996 under President Bill Clinton, while more recently he supported the Affordable Health Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Rush is also an honorably discharged Army veteran and holds a master’s degree in theology. He claims to have brought over a billion dollars to the 1st District.
Rush won the Democrat slot for the November election against five other Democrat candidates. Before all the votes were in, he was on a plane to Washington and could not be reached for comment.
Patch Reporter Jesse Marx contributed to this report.