911 dispatcher Keith Thornton Jr. drops out of Illinois 19th House District race and endorses Tina Wallace; incumbent Lindsey LaPointe is seeking her second full term as representative
Editor’s note: News of Thornton dropping out of the race broke late Monday. Watch for additional updates during the week.
by BRIAN NADIG
Chicago 911 dispatcher Keith Thornton Jr. is suspending his campaign for the Democratic nomination in the Illinois 19th House District race and is endorsing real estate broker Tina Wallace over incumbent state Representative Lindsey LaPointe.
Thornton said that a three-person race would have run the risk of splitting the opposition vote, allowing LaPointe to win. LaPointe, who lives in the Jefferson Park area, was appointed to the position in 2019 and then defeated two challengers in the 2020 Democratic primary.
“I want to thank Keith for taking this courageous step for the good of our community. I admire the work he has done for the people of Chicago and look forward to working with him to bring the changes we desperately need,” said Wallace, who lives in the Old Irving Park area.
LaPointe said the following: “I’m proud to represent a part of the city where neighbors step up every day to serve others and build community. It’s my love of our community, and the diversity of perspectives in it, that inspire me every day. In the past two years, I raised my voice early to demand long time Speaker Mike Madigan resign, led the passage of more than 25 bills, and inclusively supported far NW side neighbors during the biggest crisis of our lifetimes. As we turn a corner in state government into fiscal stability and our first credit upgrade in decades, I look forward to continuing the work next session.”
In a statement released Monday night, Thornton does not rule out running for political office again but said it would likely be on a more local level than state.
“During the past months, as I’ve listened to residents and business owners, I’ve realized that change is also needed much closer to home; stay tuned,” Thornton said.
Thornton also said the following in a statement released Monday night:
“The reason I entered this campaign and the reason I am supporting Ms. Wallace is because we desperately need change; we need a state representative who is willing to represent every person in the 19th District not just the like-minded.
“This was not an easy decision. So many of you have stepped up to support my campaign and for that I am thankful. Our community needs to be the priority; people over politics.
“I believe working together makes us stronger and working together with Tina will bring the change our neighborhoods deserve.
“A three way race runs the risk of splitting the vote and allowing the incumbent to sneak back into office. I cannot in good conscience allow that to happen again.
“Instead, I am giving my full support to Ms. Tina Wallace. We have spoken at great length, and I believe she is just as committed to being a true representative and voice for the 19th District.
“We are currently represented by someone who pledged their loyalty to Mike Madigan in order to be appointed as part of a backroom deal. She then accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars of Madigan money in order to stay in office; only questioning 40 years of corruption when it became safe to do so. She now wants you to believe she was against Madigan all along.
“We have a representative who voted yes to a 700-plus page crime bill only 90 minutes after receiving it, without a single question about the content; a bill that has made our community more dangerous.
“People of the 19th District are too smart for that and they deserve better.
“I want to thank everyone who has shown their support, everyone who came to an event, signed my petition, or just took the time to talk to me about what’s important to them and what they wanted to see from their representation in Springfield.
“This is not the end, this is certainly the beginning. I promise that I will continue to remain active in our community.”
The following is a link to a Feb. 3 article on the 19th District House race, as the candidates discuss the top issues: