Ald. Ray Lopez challenges incumbent Jesús 'Chuy' García for 4th Congressional District seat

Craig Wall Image
Friday, February 23, 2024
'Chuy' García, Ald. Ray Lopez run for 4th Congressional District seat
Chicago Alderman Raymond Lopez is challenging incumbent Jesús "Chuy" García for the 4th Congressional District seat in the upcoming primary election.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- For the first time since being elected to Congress, a Chicago political heavyweight finds himself facing a challenger in a primary election.

Jesús "Chuy" García is trying to fend off Alderman Raymond Lopez to win a fourth term in the 4th Congressional District.

ABC7 Political Reporter Craig Wall sat down with both candidates to talk about key issues and what might decide the race.

The race could come down to whether voters in the 4th District want to see a new face representing them in congress, or if they want to stand with a very familiar one. Crime and immigration are big concerns for both candidates, but they do have their differences.

With just over three weeks until the primary, incumbent congressman García hopes his work in the district convinces voters to give him a fourth term.

"I think the deciding issue is going to be who is going to be a steady leader who will be a coalition builder," García said. "Who has a history of working with the diverse communities of the 4th District."

Lopez, with ten years as a Chicago alderman, hopes to pull off the upset and head from City Hall to Washington D.C.

"He's one of the five most politically left leaning politicians there, which makes it hard not to just find consensus in your own party, but to also to be able to work across the aisle," Lopez said.

Both believe the top concerns in the district are public safety, along with jobs and economic development.

Voters have a choice between the progressive García and the more centrist Lopez.

Lopez, who jumped into the race in October, dismissed questions about his challenges raising money, with only $46,000 on hand.

"I think what we're seeing is just general exhaustion from the donors period," Lopez said. 'To be fair, Chuy García doesn't have that much more money than I do, and he's been doing this race for a full year before I entered into this race."

García has just over $200,000 in the bank for his first primary challenge.

"I feel great about the prospects for re election because I've delivered for my district," García said.

As the migrant crisis continues, García may have to contend with voter frustration with incumbents. He blames congressional gridlock.

"I understand immigration. I know there's got to be compromise," García said. "I think once we get beyond this electoral cycle, new conditions will exist that will enable bipartisan immigration reform to occur."

Lopez wants voters to believe García is part of the problem.

"We have someone in federal office right now who should be pushing the federal government should be pushing presidential Biden to take action now."

No Republican filed to run in the primary, although the party still could field a candidate for the general election. But with the district solidly Democrat, the primary will likely determine who will win the seat in November.