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Democrat

Rep. Bobby Rush (D)

Bobby Rush Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-4372

Address: 2268 RHOB, DC 20515

Websites: house.gov/rush
State Office Contact Information

Phone: (773) 224-6500

Address: 700 East 79th Street, Chicago IL 60619-3102

Midlothian IL

Phone: (708) 385-9550

Fax: (708) 385-3860

Address: 3235 - 147th Street, Midlothian IL 60445-3656

Bobby Rush Staff
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Sort by INTEREST NAME TITLE
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Whitmore, Catherynne
Assistant to the Member; Staff Assistant
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Hall, Dottie
Constituent Services Associate
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Hawkins, Dennis
Constituent Services Associate
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Finnegan, Barrett
Constituent Services Associate
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Johnson, Debra
Communications Director
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Hall, Rosemary
Executive Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Whitmore, Catherynne
Assistant to the Member; Staff Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Finnegan, Barrett
Constituent Services Associate
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Hawkins, Dennis
Constituent Services Associate
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Hall, Dottie
Constituent Services Associate
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Whitmore, Catherynne
Assistant to the Member; Staff Assistant
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Finnegan, Barrett
Constituent Services Associate
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Finnegan, Barrett
Constituent Services Associate
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Finnegan, Barrett
Constituent Services Associate
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Whitmore, Catherynne
Assistant to the Member; Staff Assistant
Hawkins, Dennis
Constituent Services Associate
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Hall, Dottie
Constituent Services Associate
Hawkins, Dennis
Constituent Services Associate
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Hawkins, Dennis
Constituent Services Associate
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Suleman, Younus
Deputy District Director
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Whitmore, Catherynne
Assistant to the Member; Staff Assistant
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Hall, Dottie
Constituent Services Associate
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Johnson, Debra
Communications Director
Hawkins, Dennis
Constituent Services Associate
Whitmore, Catherynne
Assistant to the Member; Staff Assistant
Hall, Rosemary
Executive Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Whitmore, Catherynne
Assistant to the Member; Staff Assistant
Hawkins, Dennis
Constituent Services Associate
Whitmore, Catherynne
Assistant to the Member; Staff Assistant
Hall, Rosemary
Executive Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Whitmore, Catherynne
Assistant to the Member; Staff Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Hall, Dottie
Constituent Services Associate
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Hawkins, Dennis
Constituent Services Associate
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Finnegan, Barrett
Constituent Services Associate
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Hawkins, Dennis
Constituent Services Associate
Whitmore, Catherynne
Assistant to the Member; Staff Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Finnegan, Barrett
Constituent Services Associate
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Suleman, Younus
Deputy District Director
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Hawkins, Dennis
Constituent Services Associate
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Hall, Dottie
Constituent Services Associate
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Hawkins, Dennis
Constituent Services Associate
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Whitmore, Catherynne
Assistant to the Member; Staff Assistant
Johnson, Debra
Communications Director
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Hall, Dottie
Constituent Services Associate
Finnegan, Barrett
Constituent Services Associate
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Suleman, Younus
Deputy District Director
Hawkins, Dennis
Constituent Services Associate
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Whitmore, Catherynne
Assistant to the Member; Staff Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Hawkins, Dennis
Constituent Services Associate
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Whitmore, Catherynne
Assistant to the Member; Staff Assistant
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Whitmore, Catherynne
Assistant to the Member; Staff Assistant
Bearden, Lalique
Office Coordinator
Finnegan, Barrett
Constituent Services Associate
Gavin-Parks, Ingrid
Deputy Director of Administration and Operations
Hall, Dottie
Constituent Services Associate
Hall, Rosemary
Executive Assistant
Hawkins, Dennis
Constituent Services Associate
Johnson, Debra
Communications Director
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Myers, N. Lenette
Director of Administration and Operations; Scheduler
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Pollas, Yardly
Legislative Director
Sparkman, Walter
District Aide; Law Enforcement Coordinator
Suleman, Younus
Deputy District Director
Teague, James
Constituent Relations Associate
Whitmore, Catherynne
Assistant to the Member; Staff Assistant
Marshall, John
Senior Policy Advisor
johnm@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4372
Sparkman, Walter
District Aide; Law Enforcement Coordinator
Finnegan, Barrett
Constituent Services Associate
Hall, Dottie
Constituent Services Associate
Hawkins, Dennis
Constituent Services Associate
Teague, James
Constituent Relations Associate
Johnson, Debra
Communications Director
Bearden, Lalique
Office Coordinator
Sparkman, Walter
District Aide; Law Enforcement Coordinator
Gavin-Parks, Ingrid
Deputy Director of Administration and Operations
Suleman, Younus
Deputy District Director
Myers, N. Lenette
Director of Administration and Operations; Scheduler
Hall, Rosemary
Executive Assistant
Jones, Orlando
Legislative Assistant
Pandya, Nishith
Senior Legislative Assistant
Pollas, Yardly
Legislative Director
Myers, N. Lenette
Director of Administration and Operations; Scheduler
Whitmore, Catherynne
Assistant to the Member; Staff Assistant
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Bobby Rush Committees
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Bobby Rush Biography
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  • Elected: 1992, 11th term.
  • District: Illinois 1
  • Born: Nov. 23, 1946, Albany, GA
  • Home: Chicago
  • Education:

    Roosevelt U., B.A. 1973, U. of IL, M.A. 1994, McCormick Seminary, M.A. 1998

  • Professional Career:

    Member, Student Non–Violent Coord. Cmte., 1966–68; Co–founder, IL Black Panther Party, 1968; Med. clinic dir., 1970-1973; Insurance agent, 1978-83.

  • Military Career:

    Army, 1963–68.

  • Political Career:

    Chicago city alderman, 1983–92; 2nd ward committeeman, 1984–present.

  • Ethnicity: Black/African American
  • Religion:

    Baptist

  • Family: Married (Carolyn); 6 (1 deceased) children

Once a Black Panther and prison inmate, Democrat Bobby Rush was elected in 1992 and is now an elder liberal statesman of Chicago’s sharp-edged political scene. He also likely will go down in history as the only politician ever to beat Barack Obama in an election. Read More

Once a Black Panther and prison inmate, Democrat Bobby Rush was elected in 1992 and is now an elder liberal statesman of Chicago’s sharp-edged political scene. He also likely will go down in history as the only politician ever to beat Barack Obama in an election.

Rush grew up on the North Side, a Boy Scout whose mother was a Republican precinct captain. While in the Army, he became involved in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the South, then became disillusioned with the military and went AWOL in 1968. That year, he founded the Illinois Black Panthers, with its “Power to the People” slogan, and recruited Fred Hampton, who became chairman of the organization but was later killed by police in a 1969 raid. The next day, police raided Rush’s family’s apartment, but he wasn’t there. Rush served six months in prison for illegal possession of firearms. Also during his time with the Black Panthers, he ran a program providing free breakfasts to children and a medical clinic that developed the nation’s first mass sickle-cell-anemia testing program. “I don’t repudiate any of my involvement in the Panther party. It was part of my maturing,” Rush later said. Ordained as a Baptist minister, Rush founded a church in 2002 in the depressed Englewood community, but it struggled financially.

In 1983, he was elected the 2nd Ward alderman on the Chicago City Council and became a strong supporter of Harold Washington, who became mayor. As he built a career in politics, Rush went back to school and earned master’s degrees in political science and theological studies. In 1992, he challenged Democratic U.S. Rep. Charles Hayes, an older-generation politician with a union background. Just before the primary, it was revealed that Hayes had 716 overdrafts on the House bank, a practice among lawmakers that blossomed into a national scandal. Rush won 42%-39%.

In the House, Rush has a liberal voting record. His rhetoric has softened over the years, and his more deliberate style contrasts sharply with his days as a Panther. But he does sometimes chafe at legislative compromises. He backed the 2010 health care overhaul law, but only after sending mixed signals because of his unhappiness over the removal of a provision that reimburses hospitals for indigent care.

Gun violence caused great pain to Rush in 1999, when his son, Huey Rich, was murdered by a man wielding a handgun as he returned to his South Side home with his fiancée. After 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot dead in Florida in February 2012 in an incident that set off a national debate about race, Rush took to the House floor wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt—Martin’s garb at the time of his death—in protest. “Just because someone is a young black male and wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum,” he said.

In recent years, he has devoted much of his time to the Energy and Commerce Committee, where he chaired the Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee until Democrats lost control of the House in 2011. He became the ranking Democrat on the Energy and Power Subcommittee. When gasoline prices soared in early 2012, he called for an investigation into the potential role of Wall Street speculators. At a congressional forum on college sports in November 2011, he compared the National Collegiate Athletic Association to the Mafia for what he called its abysmal treatment of student athletes.

Rush waged a quixotic campaign in 1999 against Richard M. Daley’s iron grip on the mayor’s office. He was a frequent Daley critic, and during the campaign he attacked the mayor for tolerating police brutality, inadequate mass transit service, and cronyism in city government. Only three of the 50 aldermen endorsed him, and although Rush tried to build a multiracial coalition, his only chance was with black voters.Daley was popular, and his financial advantage overwhelming. The incumbent won the primary 72%-28%, with nearly 45% of the African-American vote and the support of many prominent black ministers.

After that pounding, Rush found himself challenged in his own reelection primary in 2000 by two state senators—Donne Trotter and the then little-known Barack Obama. Obama waged an aggressive campaign, saying at the time that Rush “exemplifies a politics that is reactive, that waits for crises to happen, then holds a press conference, and hasn’t been particularly effective at building broad-based coalitions.” But Obama came under attack for being absent from the state legislature for two months and missing a vote on a gun control bill while on a family trip to Hawaii, where he was raised. “It was a race in which everything that could go wrong did go wrong,” Obama later wrote in his book, The Audacity of Hope. Rush was also helped by an endorsement from President Bill Clinton. He beat Obama 61%-30%.

Surely not by coincidence, redistricting in 2002 shifted Obama’s Hyde Park home two blocks outside the new lines and removed the 19th Ward, which he had carried. Rush has been routinely reelected since then, although the Chicago Tribune, in endorsing his Republican opponent Donald Peloquin in 2012, complained he has become complacent and doesn’t return calls from mayors in some of his district’s small towns.

When Obama ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004, Rush backed Democrat Blair Hull, who finished third in the primary. Afterward, he endorsed Obama. During Obama’s pitched battle with Hillary Clinton in the presidential primary four years later, Rush again endorsed Obama, calling it “one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make in politics.”

In other political machinations in recent years, Rush in 2008 pushed to ensure that President-elect Obama’s vacant Senate seat went to an African-American. He applauded Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s appointment of Roland Burris, and then, when Burris declined to run for reelection in 2010, he backed former Chicago Urban League President Cheryle Robinson Jackson. After Jackson finished third in the Senate primary, Rush declined for months to endorse the winner, state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, who is white. He finally did so in October. After Daley announced he wouldn’t run for reelection as mayor, Rush in early 2011 joined other black Democratic leaders in backing former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun. The job ultimately went to former Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Rush had a brush with cancer in 2008. He was absent from Capitol Hill for much of the year recovering from salivary gland cancer and surgery to remove a tumor near his jaw. Doctors later ruled him cancer free.

Show Less
Bobby Rush Election Results
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2012 General
Bobby Rush (D)
Votes: 236,854
Percent: 73.82%
Donald Peloquin (R)
Votes: 83,989
Percent: 26.18%
2012 Primary
Bobby Rush (D)
Votes: 64,533
Percent: 83.85%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (80%), 2008 (86%), 2006 (84%), 2004 (85%), 2002 (81%), 2000 (88%), 1998 (87%), 1996 (86%), 1994 (76%), 1992 (83%)
Bobby Rush Votes and Bills
Back to top NJ Vote Ratings

National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 91 (L) : - (C) 89 (L) : - (C) 90 (L) : 9 (C)
Social 87 (L) : 7 (C) 85 (L) : - (C) 75 (L) : 24 (C)
Foreign 86 (L) : 13 (C) 93 (L) : - (C) 88 (L) : - (C)
Composite 90.7 (L) : 9.3 (C) 94.5 (L) : 5.5 (C) 86.7 (L) : 13.3 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC100
LCV9491
CFG615
ITIC-44
NTU1116
20112012
COC20-
ACLU-84
ACU05
ADA8595
AFSCME100-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote:
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase minimum wage
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Share immigration data
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Foreign aid abortion ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 8/08
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • No operations in Iran
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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