Ramirez wins Democratic primary for new 3rd Congress seat

Election 2024

In the hotly contested race in the 3rd Congressional District, newly drawn to better account for Latino population gains during the past decade, state Rep. Delia Ramirez defeated three opponents to become the Democratic nominee in the general election.

“My 4-month-old niece deserves to see someone that looks like her represent her in the U.S. Congress as the first Latina from the entire Midwest to represent us, the first of many to come,” Ramirez had said during her meeting with the Daily Herald editorial board.

The district, which is overwhelmingly Democratic, runs east-west through Chicago and the suburbs. It takes in areas of Cook and DuPage counties, including parts of Wheaton, West Chicago and Wayne.

Justin Burau of Winfield ran unopposed in the Republican primary for the seat.

The Associated Press declared Ramirez the winner with 51.2% of the voted counted and her collecting 26,633 votes, or nearly 66%. Chicago Alderman Gilbert Villegas finished second with 9,770 votes, or 24%. College professor and artist Iymen Chehade finished third, and registered nurse Juan Aguirre finished fourth.

Ramirez, who was elected to the Illinois House in 2018, said her top issues include codifying abortion rights and expanding access to affordable health care, including pushing for Medicare for All.

While all four Democratic candidates live in Chicago, the candidates appealed for suburban votes.

“We need someone that’s willing to listen to people in Wheaton, listen to people in Glen Ellyn, and listen to people in Humboldt Park and Belmont Cragin,” Ramirez said at a League of Women Voters forum. “It’s who I am. I’ve been a coalition builder.”

Illinois Democrats set out to create a Latino district after the 2020 census, and they succeeded by drawing the new 3rd Congressional District.

With the district leaning Democratic, Ramirez will be heavily favored to win the open seat in November.