Flossmoor woman files to run for 40th District seat

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Flossmoor woman files to run for 40th District seat

December 10, 2019 - 21:27
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First time candidate Monica Gordon poses with nominating petitions in Springfield. The Flossmoor resident collected 2,500 signatures in order to be on the ballot for the 40th District of the state senate. (Provided photo)
First-time candidate Monica Gordon poses with
nominating petitions in Springfield. The Flossmoor
resident collected 2,500 signatures in order to be
on the ballot for the 40th District of the state senate. 

(Provided photo)
 
A Flossmoor resident is looking to become the new Illinois senator for the 40th District, which includes Homewood, Flossmoor and a large swath of suburban and exurban Chicago.
 
Monica Gordon has filed nominating petitions as a Democratic candidate for the 40th District Illinois Senate seat, and she’s coming into her campaign expressing great confidence.
 
“I know I’m the best candidate in the race,” said Gordon, a nine-year Flossmoor resident. “I know I have the knowledge to move the 40th District forward.”
 
In late October, the 40th District seat was vacated by Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields) when she accepted a position as special assistant to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, charged with implementing the state’s new cannabis regulations.
 
Kankakee Democrat Patrick Joyce was appointed by the district’s Democratic committeemen to fill the seat in early November, beating out Gordon and two other candidates. It is the first time in two decades someone outside of Cook County has held the 40th District seat. 
 
Joyce, a Kankakee County farmer, said he also will run for the full term in the March 17, 2020, primary election. Other Democrats on the ballot are David Morgan, Lori Wilcox and Marta Perales. The GOP candidate is Eric Wallace.
 
Geographically, the 40th District is diverse, its borders including portions of Cook, Will, Grundy and Kankakee counties. It includes a mix of constituents from the south suburbs who identify more with their urban neighbors to the north than those in the more agri-centric southwest exurbs.
 
While it could be difficult to connect with voters from such different perspectives, Gordon said the 40th’s diversity offers opportunity.
 
“I don’t think it’s a challenge,” Gordon said. “We still have common problems that need to be solved.”
 
Issues such as environmental safety, equitable education and economic support are relevant all throughout the district, she said. 
 
Gordon is taking a leave of absence from her position as executive director of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation to run for Illinois Senate. She said her work with the organization will benefit her campaign.
 
“With my work in the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, I’ve become an expert in fundraising, and that will be very important in this election,” Gordon said. “Anyone in this race needs to know how to raise money. It’s critical; races these days depend on fundraising.”
 
She said her campaign's main focus is economic development, which includes the South Suburban Airport, an emphasis on the River Walk in Kankakee and creating agricultural opportunities in Pembroke, one of the poorest townships in Illinois. She also plans to focus on equitable education and property tax reform.
 
“How can you talk about economic development for the 40th District and not be in support of the South Suburban Airport?” Gordon said. "The airport will help to address many of the problems our district is facing.”
 
Gordon said she has received a number of endorsements, including from Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and the Rich Township Democratic Organization, whose committeeman chose her to replace Hutchinson in the balloting in November.
 
If she wins the primary in the March election, Gordon said she will show constituents in every part of the 40th District that she’s committed to working for them.
 
“I want to share my message of hope and working together to build a more vibrant, stronger community,” Gordon said.