On February 6, Brandon Johnson, a progressive Democratic candidate for Cook County Commissioner in the 1st District, announced an endorsement by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, one of the longest serving statewide officials and arguably one of the most powerful Democrats in Illinois. In addition, Johnson received the support of the political organizations led by West Side City Council members Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. (27th) and Alderman Jason Ervin (28th) and State Representative Melissa Con- years-Ervin.
The Cook County’s 1st District covers the greater West Side of Chicago and Western Cook, including Oak Park and Proviso Townships. Johnson, an Austin resident, Chicago Public Schools teacher and labor organizer, is attempting to oust Richard Boykin, who has failed constituents by continuing to back policies closely aligned with President Donald J. Trump’s ultra conservative agenda, in the March 20th Primary.
“I am honored to receive Secretary White’s endorsement and support as I continue fight for the values of the Democratic party and ensure that working families and those who depend on Cook County for health and social services are not faced with more budget cuts and consolidations,” Johnson said. “Secretary White, along with Alderman Burnett, Alderman Ervin and Representative Conyears-Ervin, are powerful voices of leadership and influence in our state, county and city. They understand that my campaign isn’t about personality; it’s about having principal and fighting for good, sound and people-centered public policy. Their support is a tremendous boost to my campaign.”
White’s endorsement comes days after Johnson received high-profile endorsements from progressive organizations including Our Revolution Illinois, founded by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, and MoveOn.org, one of the most prolific progressive political groups in U.S. history.
“Brandon and I have both taught public school students living in Cabrini-Green, and as a fellow educator I know he has the best interests of working families in mind. Brandon has ability to listen to people, to be held accountable and to stand up against the Trump agenda that is attempting to turn back the clock in Illinois and our nation,” said Secretary White. “We need new voices that will not use public policy as punishment for the poor and public service workers. He has the right vision and energy for Cook County.”
“I fully endorse Brandon Johnson because he has a 20-year record of fighting for justice—especially for low-income parents and students,” said Alderman Burnett. “The West Side of Chicago needs more leaders like Brandon—someone who isn’t afraid to challenge the powerful; someone who will stand up for what’s right regardless of income.”
Alderman Jason Ervin echoed those sentiments. “At a time when Republicans are trying to wipe out health care, social services and funding for programs that make our society whole, we need more elected officials who will speak truth to power and call it like it is,” he said. “Brandon is remarkable in his clarity of the issues, his understanding of County government and how the budget works, and why Democrats must unite to protect the interests of all people.”
Added State Representative Conyears-Ervin, “I know what we’re facing at the state level so its imperative that I have colleagues at the county level who are focused on the priorities that matter to us,” she said. “Brandon Johnson will be a voice for those in the margins. He won’t sell us out to corporate interests. He has no problem going after progressive revenue and asking the wealthy to pay their fair share. I’m going to do whatever I can to ensure he’s victorious on Election Day.”
Johnson has also been endorsed by Chicago Federation of Labor, SEIU State Council, SEIU HCII, SEIU Local 73, SEIU Local 1, Chicago Teachers Union, United Working Families, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Reclaim Chicago, UFCW Local 881, Cook County College Teachers Union Local 1600, AFSCME Council 31, Our Revolution IL, National Nurses Union, Citizens Action, Chicago NOW PAC, SMART 73; IBEW Local 34, Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters, MoveOn.org, Black Roots Alliance, National Association of Social Workers Illinois Chapter, pastors, civic leaders and others.