By CARL GREEN
The leading Democratic contenders in the Illinois 13th Congressional District primary both reported new endorsements as the March 20 primary neared.
The United Steelworkers endorsed Springfield fundraiser Betsy Dirksen Londrigan while the State Journal-Register, Springfield’s daily newspaper, came out for Edwardsville attorney Erik Jones.
They are among five Democrats seeking the nomination to face incumbent Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) in the November general election.
Jones was earlier endorsed by the Chicago Tribune and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, while U.S. Senator Dick Durbin has been supporting Londrigan. The Illinois AFL-CIO declined to endorse because more than one candidate had Labor support.
The Steelworkers noted Londrigan’s “commitment to stand up for middle-class families by prioritizing health care, job creation and education while fixing the Washington status quo.”
District 7 Director Mike Millsap added: “Unlike Rodney Davis, Betsy supports the rights of workers to collective bargaining.”
Londrigan also added endorsements from Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, U.S. Representative Jan Schakowski (D-Chicago) and state Representative Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea).
The State Journal-Register cited Jones’ experience as an attorney for Democrats in Congress and as an assistant attorney general in Illinois.
“The practical experience he gained in those roles in how to successfully accomplish legislative goals – identify a problem, build a record of facts and then create laws that fix the issue at hand – gives him an unmatched leg up in this race.
“Jones articulates nuanced ideas on a multitude of issues, from health care reform to trade, all with an eye on how to protect the everyday Joes and Janes just trying to live a middle-class life. You don’t have to like Davis to admit he can deftly navigate Congress. If Democrats want to unseat him, they need a candidate who can adequately challenge him at every turn. Jones has a background built for a run for Congress.”