Illinois Democrats in a civil war over race to challenge Mark Kirk

scha·den·freu·de – ˈSHädənˌfroidə/ : noun: Schadenfreude; pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune.

As we’ve discussed in the past here, Senator Mark Kirk (R – Illinois) has a battle on his hands if he wants to hold on to his seat next year. Illinois is always somewhere between competitive and contested in the best of years for the GOP and purplish blue most of the time. But if the Democrats can’t find a way to get their house in order in the next few months that job may become significantly easier. In a story which sounds like an odd parallel to what happens regularly in the GOP, there is still a battle raging out there between the establishment Democrats and the SJW. We first talked about this a couple of months ago, but at the time I thought it looked like more of a generic, early stage primary scuffle which any state or district can run into, but now it seems to be turning into an all out war.


The DNC jumped out early to endorse Tammy Duckworth, seen as a rising star in the Dem ranks. But many of the locals wanted no part of her and preferred that Andrea Zopp get the nod. It seems that Representative Duckworth wasn’t… what’s the word I’m looking for here… urban enough for some of the party’s more vocal activists. (St. Lois Today)

The Cook County Democratic Party announced last week it would stay neutral, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson has weighed in, asking why the DSCC chose Duckworth without even talking with Andrea Zopp, a former federal prosecutor and president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, who announced her candidacy last week.

All of this, naturally, has pleased Republicans.

“Clearly, Democrats are in total disarray,” said Andrea Bozek, communications director at the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

“Any time that the Democrats have to spend money in a primary, while the Republican can fund-raise and not spend money for a primary, it is good for us from a fundraising perspective and from a more grass-roots perspective,” Bozek said. “Because Tammy Duckworth has the support of Washington, and there is going to be a fractured Democratic Party.”

The party of racial pigeonholing is finding its chickens coming home to roost. On paper, Duckworth looks like a natural choice. She’s received national attention from the party, she’s a wounded veteran and, perhaps most importantly, she’s a woman. She checks off most of the boxes in terms of building a Democrat senate candidate. But unfortunately for Duckworth, there are loud voice in her party who feel that she just doesn’t have the right look for someone representing their interests, particularly in and around Chicago.


Back when Harry Reid endorsed Duckworth in June, there were already rumors making the rounds that this one wasn’t going to get a rubber stamp in Cook County.

Looking ahead to the first statewide election without President Obama on the ballot, they say the party needs an African-American candidate to help motivate black voters in 2016, and they think they’ve found just the woman for the job.

Andrea Zopp—a 57-year-old Harvard law grad with an impressive corporate resume, including time as general counsel for Sears and Exelon—has spent the past four years as president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. Now she’s considering a Senate run of her own.

Now that Jesse Jackson has jumped into the fray, things will only get more heated. Being qualified isn’t good enough in the Democratic Party. You have to fit the right demographic profile or you simply won’t do. They’ve been playing the race card on Republicans for ages, sometimes to great effect. Now they get to fight that war on their own turf. Not I’m gloating about it or anything…

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