Rush and Peloquin Face Off for 1st Congressional District in November

The longtime Republican Blue Island mayor will challenge the nearly-just-as-longtime Democrat congressman for one of the most disparate congressional districts in Illinois.

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.

Helen March 21, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Interesting interesting interesting. I in the past had several phone calls to the Mayor about the refinery when it was open. I was a concerned citizen because of the environmental hazard it was for our area. He never once answered the phone or cared to reply. When we called Bobby Rush’s office regarding the contaminated water; his office was receptive to our calls, met with several citizens, attended a meeting in Palos Heights addressed 600 residents for hours. Bobby Rush also then declared a federal investigation and had his own town meeting for the people to speak about their concerns, complaints and sicknesses for almost five hours on a Saturday. This is someone we want in office! HE CARES.......
john bruno March 21, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Interesting that you fail to report that Bobby Rush is one of the original Black Panthers from Chicago. Why didn't you report that?
Pat March 21, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Unless you want all for Chicago and nothing for the burbs, you'd had better get out and vote for Peloquin. This is more of a community need vote than a party vote. Also, when did the State of Illinois from the Wisconsin border to Peoria become a suburb of Chicago?
Pat March 21, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Oh, I remember, when Madigan and the Chicago Dems redrew the lines.
Sue N. March 21, 2012 at 05:54 PM
I'm still floored how Springfield and the IL Supreme Court could justify approving the new boundries that not only split up some suburban towns, but also pull Will County Residents in the same district as Cook! Pretty sure all the Chicago Dems in my "new" district would be crying fowl if a Will County person got elected to make all decisions for them.
Alan Perkaus March 21, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Only in Illinois do we allow Gang members and felons to hold office, and only a few care about it enough to vote against it. Then all the same people get elected so they can continue to mismanage all the tax money they get. Maybe it will all change in the general election in the fall. Duh!
Concerned Citizen March 22, 2012 at 09:06 AM
Anyone who votes for Peloquin has got to be out of their minds; this is a man who's actively spent his entire time as mayor of Blue Island attempting to endanger the health of its residents. Like Helen, I also suffered as a result of the continuously polluting Clark Oil Refinery until it was shut down for good in 2001, and Peloquin did NOTHING about it whatsoever. (Then again, since he doesn't actually LIVE in Blue Island, but in Will County, what incentive could he possibly have to listen to Blue Island residents?). What's Peloquin done since, you might ask? His latest bug-eyed scheme involves building a plasma arc incinerator in our already blighted hamlet; these incinerators have NOT been evaluated by the EPA, and currently exist only in China--the most polluted country on the planet. Then again, if he wins, he'll be in Washington, so what the hell does he care? Still not convinced? Drive past 123rd and Vincennes--that is, if you can dodge the gunshots long enough to do so. Or take a stroll down our Main Street, where half the buildings are vacant and the other half so dilapidated they make Englewood look like Lake Forest. Again, does he care? Nope! Ask any Blue Island resident how Peloquin's made this town better, and they'll laugh in your face-he is truly a cancer on our not-so-fair city.
Concerned Citizen March 22, 2012 at 09:07 AM
Amen, Helen! Peloquin will only help you if you've got money and clout..otherwise, you can go straight to heck!
Concerned Citizen March 22, 2012 at 09:18 AM
It's more interesting that he failed to report that Peloquin doesn't even live in the town he's the mayor of!
I vote, do you? March 24, 2012 at 03:11 AM
just wondering how a man who supposedly "endangered the health of residents" has held office for 20-plus years? maybe all the residents of your community don't feel the same way you do, or at least the ones that actually vote don't! if you want to change your world for the better, you have to get involved. Sure its a lot of work, and maybe there are some risks, but the people that make a difference are 100% of the time the ones who actually do get involved, instead of just looking on and complaining. i wonder how many of you nay-sayers even bothered to vote in the primary........if you are not happy with things, get up and do something about it, thats what every one of these congressional hopefuls are doing.
Dennis Robaugh (Editor) March 24, 2012 at 03:17 PM
John Bruno, The fact that Bobby Rush was a Black Panther is well known and has been mentioned several times on the Patch sites in the 1st District, from the stories about how redistricting reshapes the 1st District to the emergence of various challengers. It's been the subject of multiple comment threads among Patch users, too.
Mayor Hart March 24, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Concerned Citizen, your comments may or may not be valid, but one thing is clear, either you know nothing about Blue Island or have never been there. There is no Main Street. It's called Western Avenue, or even Uptown. Check a map and get back to me.
New to NL April 11, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Concerned Citizen, you keep mentioning that Peloquin doesn't live in the city he is mayor which is completely false. He does live in Blue Island and has for as long as I have know him (25+ years), I have been there many times. Get your facts straight! Where does he live then if not Blue Island?
nick April 24, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Bobby Rush, many people wish he was there with Fred, on Dec. 4th, 1969 "Fred Hampton (August 30, 1948 – December 4, 1969) was an African-American activist and deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP). He was killed in his apartment during a raid by a tactical unit of the Cook County, Illinois State's Attorney's Office (SAO), in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)" "In November 1969, Hampton traveled to California, and met with the National BPP leadership at UCLA. It was there that they offered him a position on the Central Committee as the chief of staff, and asked him to serve as the national spokesman for the BPP. While Hampton was out of town two Chicago police officers, John J. Gilhooly and Frank G. Rappaport, were killed in a gun battle with Panthers on the night of November 13. A total of 9 police officers were shot"


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something