D’Amico wins Democratic primary in 15th Illinois House District race
by CYRYL JAKUBOWSKI
Twelve-year incumbent state Representative John D’Amico defeated Fair Allocation In Runways Coalition co-founder Jac Charlier in the 15th Illinois House District race in the March 15 Democratic primary.
D’Amico captured about 68 percent of the suburban vote and about and about 55 percent of the city vote, according to unofficial election results. With about 90 percent of the precincts reporting, D’Amico had 10,490 votes compared to 7,139 for Charlier.
“I am feeling good and I think I ran a good campaign and worked extra hours and knocked on more than 7,200 doors to get the message out to people about working to improve this district,” D’Amico said on election night.
“Any time you have an election, you get nervous because you don’t know what the outcome will be. Anyone who doesn’t get nervous is not realistic. I ran a positive campaign and fought back when I needed to, but I extend my hand to my opponent, whom I know is passionate about this community. If he wants to work with me, I welcome that opportunity.”
D’Amico said that Charlier was negative during the campaign and that he fought back.
“Now that the election is in the past, we can concentrate on working on what is the best for our state. We need a budget and we need to fight for that,” D’Amico said.
“People want good parks, good schools and they want to feels safe in their neighborhoods,” D’Amico said. “I constantly work to secure funding for projects in the district.”
D’Amico said that he was not able to attend candidate forums on the Northwest Side because of scheduling conflicts. He said that Charlier criticized him for hiding from voters, which he said was not true.
“Some of these forums were scheduled on the days when I was in Springfield and working to secure funding for our MAP grants,” D’Amico said. “Unfortunately Governor Rauner vetoed that bill.”
The Monetary Award Program provides grants, which do not need to be repaid, to state residents who attend approved Illinois colleges and demonstrate financial need.
“I wasn’t dodging debates,” D’Amico said. “I have a lot of things to do, and you can’t give me a day’s notice out of the blue and expect me to drop everything when I have previous engagements and then criticize me for it.”
D’Amico said that he has worked to bring field lights to Gompers Park and to pass the graduated driver’s license bill that requires increased education and training for teenager drivers.
Charlier received endorsements from the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune, as well as from Democracy for America, a political action committee founded by former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean in 2004.
Charlier said that D’Amico’s campaign has sent mailers that accused him of being a Tea Party supporter who wants to take away funding from Planned Parenthood and that he is a Rauner supporter and would work to increase taxes.
“He had mailers out, and he was just lying in those mailers,” Charlier said. “The mailers show the true face of John D’Amico, one that he is a double-dipping liar. Calling me a ‘Tea Partier’ is not true, and I am pro-choice, so I have no idea where those lies came from.”
D’Amico has said that the information in the mailers came from Charlier’s social media messages and posts.
“He can say what he wants, D’Amico said earlier this month. “He announced that he was running last year and ever since then he has been ripping my family apart on a daily basis on Twitter and other social media. I have kept quiet long enough and now I am fighting back.”
Charlier was running his campaign with the theme, “I’ve had enough of having enough.”
In the November general election, D’Amico will face Edgebrook resident Jonathan Edelman, who won the Republican nomination.