Rep. Bobby Rush becomes latest House Democrat not seeking reelection

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) said Monday he will not seek reelection after 15 terms in Congress.

Rush told the Chicago Sun-Times he made the decision in the past several weeks and that it was a result of a conversation he had with his grandson.

“I don’t want my grandchildren . . . to know me from a television news clip or something they read in a newspaper,” Rush told the Sun-Times.

“I want them to know me on an intimate level, know something about me and I want to know something about them. I don’t want to be a historical figure to my grandchildren.”

The Illinois Democrat said he plans to remain active in his ministry and use his life story and experiences to inspire young people.

Rush co-founded the Illinois chapter of the Black Panthers, becoming acting chairman following the killings of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in a police raid in December 1969. 

His career has been marked by a focus on civil rights and racial injustice. 

Rush, 75, has served in Congress since 1993. He notably defeated then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in a 2000 Democratic primary for the the state’s 1st Congressional District. He served previously as a Chicago alderman.

He becomes the 24th House Democrat to not seek re-election in 2022. Republicans only need to flip five seats to win the majority.

Rush will make an announcement Tuesday on his future plans, his office announced.

Updated 8:25 p.m.

Tags Barack Obama Bobby Rush Chicago Illinios

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