The Crusader Newspaper Group

Campaign money flowing in the 7th Congressional Race on West Side

PICTURED L-R: Kina Collins, Melissa Conyears-Earvin and Rep. Danny K. Davis

Congressman Danny K. Davis and City of Chicago Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin are piling up campaign donations, as the two lead in fundraising efforts in the race for the 7th Congressional District on the West Side.

While campaign activities heat up in the final month before the March 19th Democratic Primary, according to the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission, Kina Collins, who gained national attention two years ago after nearly beating Davis in the 2022 Democratic Primary, has the least in campaign donations among the five candidates in the race.

Federal records show Conyears-Ervin has raised over $516,000 in campaign donations, more than any candidate. Davis is second with nearly $384,000. Kouri Marshall has nearly $113,000 and Nikhil Bhatia has raised over $99,000. Collins, who is running for a third time against Davis, has the least amount in campaign donations with just $58,000.

Those donations reflect the fundraising period that ended December 31, 2023. New figures for the first quarter that ends in March will be released in April after the Democratic Primary.

Congressman Davis is seeking a 15th term in the U.S. House of Representatives after first being elected in 1996. With at least 24 endorsements from aldermen, Cook County commissioners and suburban mayors, Davis has more support than any other candidate in the race.

Recently, Davis was endorsed by the Clergy Coalition, a handful of Chicago faith leaders from the West Side. The Clergy Coalition unanimously supported Davis with 89 letters from the local church community. Other clergy backing Davis include Mildred Harris, commissioner of the Chicago Housing Authority and founder of God First Church and Ministries, and Reverend Paul Jakes, a Clergy Coalition organizer.

“The Clergy Coalition is fortunate to have a cross-section of clergy representing diverse groups across the 7th Congressional District,” Jakes said in a statement.

The latest endorsement is relief for Davis, who in January was the subject of a complaint submitted by a constituent who accused Davis of misusing Congressional funds to pay for campaign advertising.

One of Davis’ biggest opponents, Conyears-Ervin has been endorsed by the Illinois Nurses Association and Chicago Firefighters Local 2; Alderman Jeanette Taylor of Chicago’s (20th); her husband, Alderman Jason Ervin (28th) and Chris Taliaferro of the 29th Ward. Recently, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) endorsed Conyears-Ervin, raising questions as to why a local labor union would get involved in a Congressional race.

In a statement, CTU President Stacy Davis Gates said, “As a union that is overwhelmingly made up of women who see the challenges families face every day, we believe it’s time to send a working mom to Congress. That’s why we’re supporting Melissa Conyears-Ervin.

“For too long now, Washington has failed to prioritize working families and our communities. If we are going to have equitable and sustainable investment in the neighborhoods that need it most, then we need leadership we can trust.”

Conyears-Ervin once put her campaign on hold after reports emerged that she fired two workers in her office as City Treasurer after they accused her of wrongdoing. The Chicago Board of Ethics found Conyears-Ervin violated the city’s ethics code by firing those employees.

Conyears-Ervin received an endorsement from Alderman Taliaferro after he won re-election, despite Congressman Davis endorsing his opponent, activist C.B. Johnson for the 29th Ward race. Sources told the Crusader that inflamed tensions were already brewing between Taliaferro and Davis.

Despite trailing in campaign donations, Collins remains a threat to Congressman Davis’ re-election bid. In the last Democratic Primary, Collins came within six percentage points of beating the veteran Congressman. Collins believes she would have won the election had the turnout been higher among millennial voters.

The 7th Congressional District includes parts of Chicago’s West Side, the near South Side, parts of Bronzeville and Washington Park. It also includes parts of Chicago’s downtown, Maywood, Oak Park, Hillside and Bellwood.confession capital of the U.S.” with innocent Black and Latino men being forced to admit to crimes under corrupt Chicago police.

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