CHICAGO - He has been the Representative for Illinois' First Congressional District for 30 years, and on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, former Black Panther, Congressman Bobby Rush announced he will not seek a 16th term. He said he will instead concentrate on his work as Pastor of the Beloved Community Christian Church of God in Christ, located on Chicago's South Side. His Congressional career began in 1992, "I am not leaving the battlefield. I am going to be an activist as long as I'm here in the land of the living," he said.
"I will be making my voice heard in the public realm, from the pulpit, in the community, and in the halls of power," Congressman Rush promised. When asked if he has a successor in mind, he said he looks for a consensus candidate to emerge to take his place in the next election, but has not yet made an endorsement. So far, as many as five residents of the First Congressional District have expressed interest in the office.
"Im glad I'm leaving on a high note, and I'm sure my appeal to the voters will have an effect on their decision," Congressman Rush said regarding selecting his successor to run in the Midterm Election.
While the U.S. Congress is often divided by partisan politics, the church remains the one viable institution that can change the mindset of the people, Congressman Rush asserted. He first entered government service in 1983 when he won the election for Alderman of Chicago's 2nd Ward, a position he held until his victorious run for Congress in 1992. During his 30 year tenure, Congressman Rush has introduced bills on issues from Conflict Resolution and Mediation, to Public Pensions and Community Development. In his second term he gained a seat on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. He is the current Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee's Energy Subcommittee. Here he stands with a few of those present who heard him state his decision to leave Congress and focus on his church ministry. Photo by Marcus Robinson
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