26-year Congressman Danny Davis holds off challenger in Democratic primary

Danny Davis
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 24: Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL) speaks during a news conference on July 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo credit Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images

Longtime U.S. Rep. Danny Davis fended off a progressive challenger to secure a 14th term in Congress.

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Davis’ dynasty in the 7th District survived a well-financed campaign by gun violence activist Kina Collins, who was challenging the longtime congressman for a second time. With 94% of precincts reporting, Davis led Collins 52% to 46%.

The primary battle between Davis and Collins in the 7th District got national press attention as a barometer of the ongoing struggle between moderate Democrats and a new generation of more progressive newcomers.

“It’s been a hard fight, but I can also tell you that the victory is sweet,” Davis said from the podium at the National Association of Letter Carriers hall in Bronzeville. “And I can tell you why it is so sweet — it’s because grassroots people are the ones who did it.”

Collins, a community activist, was backed by nearly $400,000 in spending by the progressive Justice Democrats PAC — which recruited U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib to run in 2018.

Collins improved on her 14% showing in 2020, when Davis won 61% of the votes in a four-way race.

While Collins raised about $150,000 more than Davis during the campaign cycle and out-spent the incumbent $530,000 to $136,000, Davis was buoyed late by endorsements from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden — as well as a burst of $425,000 in spending from a "dark money" group affiliated with moderate Democratic House leaders.

There was no candidate in the Republican primary for the seat.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire & Chicago Sun-Times 2022. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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