It is not often that the RoundTable endorses a candidate. Instead, we present voters with enough information for them to make their own decisions. With the upcoming endorsement session of the Democratic Party of Evanston, however, we want to state our preference for Daniel Biss for governor.
Mr. Biss, who gave up his State Senate seat to run for governor, would serve the people of Illinois well. He is clear-sighted, compassionate, moral, and very, very, smart.
Having served in the General Assembly as Senator and as State Representative before that, he knows the issues that our State faces and has proposals to move us all forward. He knows, too, how tricky politics can be, yet he has come out of Springfield beholden to none of the political kingmakers and power-mongers there.
True, he is not a billionaire, but until quite recently, accumulated wealth did not appear to be a necessary qualification for public office.
True, rather than tweeting his ideas in barbs, he speaks in sentences – long and complex ones at times. In those sentences he not only explains an issue, he describes both sides – of school-reform proposals, for example – and shows how he came to his decision.
True, because of those things, he seems a throwback to a time when people ran for public office from a desire to serve, not because they had enough money to dabble in power.
Mr. Biss’s morality and compassion come through whenever he speaks. He understands that we must take care of all our residents, the vulnerable, the struggling, the middle class, the undocumented, and the well-off. During the politically imposed budget crisis that lasted more than two years, he was critical of the actions of both parties that led to the gridlock. He has defended unions from an administration that would like to see them destroyed.
There are a couple of notions floating around Evanston in the form compliments or support that are thinly disguised reasons not to vote for Mr. Biss. One is that “He can’t get elected” because ...”
Does the folly of that attitude need much more daylight?
The second, and more serious one, is that gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy has chosen Ra Joy as his running mate. Mr. Joy, who grew up in Evanston and lived here until a few years ago, is still considered an Evanstonian. He has an untarnished reputation for integrity, compassion, and living his truth.
Were he running for governor, perhaps our choice would be different; it would certainly be more difficult.
Regardless of the outcome of this election, Mr. Joy will continue as a powerful voice for good.
But this is a choice for governor, and we believe Mr. Biss is the best candidate, and we hope the DPOE will endorse him over the other candidates.