Robyn Gabel, left, and Jan Schakowsky

      Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-9) announced on Oct. 10 that she is endorsing Robyn Gabel in the Democratic primary for the Illinois’ 18th House District. Gabel is running to succeed Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Evanston), who is leaving her seat to run for U.S. Congress in the 10th Congressional District.  

      “Robyn stands up for what she believes in,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “That is what her history has been about, that is what she has been dedicated to. We know how effective she is in actually getting things done, its not just talk.  I know she will be able to hit that ground running, which is what we need in our district.”

       Rep. Schakowsky, who is traveling to Afghanistan as part of a Congressional mission, made the remarks via video to a crowded room at Ms. Gabel’s new campaign office – 906 Sherman Ave. The event marked the official kick-off of Ms. Gabel’s campaign for State Representative.

      “I am honored and humbled by Congresswoman Schakowksy’s endorsement and support,” said Ms. Gabel. “Our community has had a strong history of progressive leadership in Springfield with Jan Schakowsky and Julie Hamos. I hope to follow in their footsteps by continuing to fight for our children, families and community.”

      Also attending the event to endorse Robyn was State Representative Lou Lang (D-Skokie).

      “When I became Deputy Majority Leader of the House this year, I determined it was more important than ever that I help good candidates win public office,” said Rep. Lang. “I can not think of another candidate in the state of Illinois that is trying to fill a seat that would be better, that would be hitting the ground running and ready to start day one, and who would do it better than Robyn Gabel. I am proud to be here, proud to support Robin.”

      Robyn Gabel has served as the Executive Director of the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition for the past 20 years. In that role, she has served as an advocate for increased access to health services for children and families in Illinois. A native of Rogers Park and Skokie, Ms. Gabel lives in Evanston with her husband Ivan Handler. Her daughter, Lilah, is a graduate of Evanston Township High School.

      Illinois’ 18th House District covers most of Evanston, and parts of Wilmette, Winnetka, and the Rogers Park neighborhood in Chicago.  Rep. Hamos has held the seat since 1999.  Rep. Schakowsky held the seat from 1991–1999.  The primary election will be February 2, 2010.

     Four other candidates have announced their candidacy for state representative for the 18th District: Jeffrey Smith, Edmond Moran, Patrick Keenan-Devlin, and Eamon Kelly.