AUTHOR’S NOTE: This blog post corrects a spelling error that I made in regards to the name of Former Illinois State Representative Naomi Jakobsson on Twitter earlier today.
While the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign is scheduled to file official paperwork to get Bernie and his slate of Illinois delegates on our state’s ballot tomorrow afternoon, the Chicago Sun-Times is already reporting the identities of many pro-Bernie delegates who are running for delegate slots at the Democratic National Convention later this year.
Some of the names are fairly obvious anti-establishment/anti-Rahm Emanuel figures in the Chicago area, such as State Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago), who defeated a Mike Madigan-supported machine incumbent in a 2012 Democratic primary, State Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago), who is leading the effort to recall Rahm from office, and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who ran against Rahm in last year’s Chicago mayoral race.
However, a couple of names are clearly indicative of Bernie’s effort to win support in downstate Illinois, something that is virtually unheard of in regards to high-profile Democratic campaigns in Illinois these days, which tend to focus almost exclusively on the Chicago metro area. These are Phil Hare, a two-term former U.S. Representative from Rock Island County, and Naomi Jakobsson, a former state representative from Champaign County. I am not standing for election as a delegate, as I would only do so if the Democratic National Convention were being held in a place like Champaign, Illinois, or Terre Haute, Indiana, which is not the case (it’s being held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this year).
For Bernie to win a majority of delegates out of Illinois, he’d need a coalition consisting of Chuy Garcia voters from the Chicago mayoral race last year and a large majority of Democratic voters downstate, and Bernie’s Illinois delegate slate is clearly reflective of his attempt to win with a Chuy-Downstate coalition.