Dems vying for Emanuel's Congress seat

February 1, 2009 3:17:21 PM PST
The crowded field of Democratic candidates running for Illinois' 5th congressional district seat met Sunday for a forum held at DePaul University and organized by several groups. Fourteen Democrats are vying for a chance to fill the congressional seat formerly held by Rahm Emanuel, who left Congress to become the White House chief of staff.

The candidates include Delta pilot Jan Donatelli, Fr. Victor Forys and University of Chicago lecturer Charles Wheelan. They were asked what specific feature of the stimulus bill was most important to the 5th District.

Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley's answer was transit.

"Besides the fact that it deals with creating jobs, it gets people to work, it deals with global warming, it deals with renewable energy," Quigley said.

" Five hundred million dollars is scheduled to come to the Chicago Public School system in the first year alone under the stimulus package," said Democratic State Rep. John Fritchey, who represents Chicago.

"The hospitals. They are the healthcare homes for many of us. There is going to be a billion dollars of relief to healthcare providers," State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz said.

The primary will be held March 3, with the special election to follow on April 7. Sunday, AFSCME Council 31 endorsed State Rep. John Fritchey.