Candidates canvass for votes for open seat in Illinois 4th District House race

Delia Ramirez and her campaign group knock on neighbors’ doors one by one on freezing days.

By Xinyi (Ethel) Jiang
Medill Reports

On a chilly Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, Delia Ramirez trudges through the snow, knocking on doors. She is introducing herself to voters in the Illinois 4th state house district in Chicago.

The Illinois 4th is a heavily Latino district, stretching from West Town through Humboldt Park in Chicago. Ramirez, a second-generation Guatemalan American and a long-time civil service director, says she was recruited to run by local residents.

The primary election will take place on March 20. Four Democrats are running to replace Rep. Cynthia Soto — who is not running for re-election — and all of them are women: Ramirez, Iris Millan, Alyx Pattison and Anne Shaw. On their websites, all the candidates talk about issues including education, safety, and healthcare. But each has a different focus.

Many voters want to see more debates between the four candidates in the early stages of the election. And candidates agree.

“The more opportunities the voters have to hear from the four of us — our history, our passion, our commitments — the clearer the voters will be able to see who they want to elect as a state representative,” said Ramirez.

Photo at top: Delia Ramirez (left) and others from her campaign knock on neighbors’ doors on Jan. 15, 2018. (Xinyi Jiang/MEDILL)