Democratic state Rep. Delia Ramirez was well on her way to a barrier-breaking win Tuesday in a new congressional district that runs from Chicago’s Northwest Side into DuPage County.
With 31% of ballots counted as of 9 p.m., Ramirez captured a resounding 80.5% of the vote, putting her on the cusp of becoming the first Latina elected to Congress from the Midwest, according to unofficial returns. Her opponent, Winfield Republican Justin Burau, a political newcomer, had 19.6%.
The boundaries for the 3rd Congressional District – stretching from Chicago’s Humboldt Park and Logan Square neighborhoods into historically red DuPage County – were drawn by Democrats in the state legislature to create a second Latino-centric congressional district in Illinois. About 44% of the voting-age population is Hispanic or Latino.
“This district was created intentionally to be able to lift the importance of Latino representation,” the Chicagoan said in a Daily Herald forum.
Ramirez has leaned on her personal biography. She’s the daughter of the daughter of Guatemalan immigrants. Her husband is a “Dreamer,” a recipient of protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. Ramirez ran on a progressive platform, showing strong support for Medicare for All and student debt cancellation. She made regular campaign stops in the suburbs and promises to open a constituent office in West Chicago.
“Many of you have seen me up and down this district,” she said during a League of Women Voters event in Glen Ellyn. “I am passionate about community and connecting people.”