Thursday, July 18, 2024

Could Congressman Luis Gutierrez be the next Senator of Illinois?

Yesterday, President-elect Barack Obama officially resigned from his post as Illinois Senator and already several names are being floated as possible replacements. The Governor of Illinois will have final word as to whom is appointed. Latino Congressman Luis Gutierrez has expressed an interest in the seat and is set to meet with the Governor to make his case. “This is a campaign about convincing one voter, the Governor of the State of Illinois, and I have a meeting scheduled (with him),” said Gutierrez.

Since 1992, Gutierrez has represented the 4th Congressional District, which snakes its way through heavily Latino neighborhoods on the North and South sides of Chicago and Cicero. The former city alderman is now hailed as the nation’s highest profile Latino lawmaker because of his work on immigration reform and environmental issues in Puerto Rico.

“As a U.S. Senator, he’d be able to take his fights of local Latino empowerment and immigration reform to the next level,” said Ald. Ricky Munoz, 22nd Ward.

Gutierrez won 83 percent of the vote in the November 4 election.

Gutierrez says he will not be disappointed if the Governor appoints someone else to the Senate. All he says he can do is to be ready if the phone rings.

“Everybody takes different roads to the same goal. Mine is, I’m gonna respect the Governor, I’m gonna talk to him, and after we have spoken I’ll be happy to talk to you once again,” Gutierrez said.

While not divulging when his interview will happen, Gutierrez says he speaks frequently to the Governor with whom he served in Congress for several terms in the 1990s. Other names being mentioned for the seat are Congressman Danny Davis and Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. Currently there are only two Latinos serving in the United States Senate, Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ken Salazar (D-CO).

ABC 7 News