Bobby Rush Wins 11th Term in Congress

Within the redrawn 1st Congressional District, Bobby Rush will keep his seat for two more years as suburban voters weren't enough to propel Don Peloquin to a win.

Bobby Rush will continue to represent the 1st Congressional District of Illinois on Capitol Hill after winning his 11th term Tuesday.

As of 10:40 p.m. Tuesday, Rush took in 212,661 votes, compared to 70,903 votes for challenger Don Peloquin, who campaigned as the Republican nominee for the seat. The count was with 582 of 617 precincts reporting from Suburban Cook County, Will County and Chicago.

The new 1st Congressional District now holds a northeast boundary just around Chicago’s Bronzeville community, continuing near the Dan Ryan and along I-57, before cutting west, including towns south of I-80, before ending at rural Elwood at its farthest southwest point. The district includes Chicago neighborhoods, such as Hyde Park, Washington Park, Auburn Gresham, Chatham, Burnside, Washington Heights and Beverly.

Past the city, Evergreen Park, Oak Lawn, Palos Heights, Alsip, Blue Island, Oak Forest, Midlothian, Tinley Park, Orland Park, Orland Hills, Mokena, New Lenox, Frankfort, Manhattan and several other towns are now within the same congressional district along with the Chicago neighborhoods.

See which towns are in the new district using this GIS map’s red flag setting.

Bobby Rush was not immediately available for comment.

Don Peloquin said the campaign as an experience brought plenty of rewards, even with the loss.

"I'm encouraged that so many people got together, worked hard, went out and became part of the process instead of sitting on the sidelines," Peloquin said, in a phone interview. "The campaign brought different people from different areas together. To me, this is what America is about. I feel privileged to be able to run for Congress."

Rush, 65, came to politics after activism. He grew up on Chicago’s West Side after moving from Albany, GA, when he was 8 months old. Rush served in the U.S. Army from 1963 to 1968, and joined the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in 1966, before going AWOL from the Army. He later was honorably discharged.

Rush then founded the Black Panther Party’s Illinois chapter after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Following a stint in prison for firearm possession, he established a free medical clinic that began the most widespread sickle-cell anemia testing program in the country.

He holds two master’s degrees, one in political science and the other in theological studies. Rush has served as a church pastor and is an ordained Baptist minister.  

During his time in Congress, Rush has supported the Telecommunications Act of 1996 under President Bill Clinton, while more recently he supported the Affordable Health Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. He has also supported numerous gun control laws.

He claims to have brought over $1 billion in funds to the 1st District during his decade in office.


Rush claims the distinction as the only politician to beat President Barack Obama in an election, doing so in the 2000 congressional primary. In October 1999, Rush’s son Huey Rush was killed in a shooting. About five months later, Rush also buried his father.

In 2005, Rush faced foreclosure on his home at the same time he was creating programs to help inner-city residents who were failing on their mortgages.

In 2008, Rush developed cancer of a salivary gland that was later treated through a debilitating combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. He announced he had beaten the disease after five months of treatment.

Rush still engages in activism even while in office. Earlier in the year, he donned a hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses on the House floor to protest the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and was kicked off the floor.

Peloquin served as Blue Island mayor for 27 years, and said earlier in the campaign he will not run for another term as mayor. This was his first campaign for an office other than the city's mayoral seat.

Peloquin said he doesn't see another political move for him on the horizon.

“I'll go back to work,” Peloquin said. "I'll continue working with the great mayors around here I've built relationships with. When my term as mayor is completed April of next year, I'll leave with my head held high."

See who won other Illinois Congressional races.

Visit our election guides for other updates.

  • Orland Park
  • Tinley Park
  • Oak Lawn
  • Beverly-Mt. Greenwood
  • Palos
  • Oak Forest
  • Evergreen Park
  • Frankfort
  • Mokena

Return later for updated voting results.

John Greer November 10, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Did you read that he just survived salivary gland cancer? That is why he speaks like that. Why would you ever care, you never like black people in the first place,
John Greer November 10, 2012 at 01:56 PM
You probably are racist.....the idea of a black man representing you in Congress does not bode well with you......that is what your whining is all about.
paul cervenka November 13, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Learn the play book. Play by the rules. The South suburbs should band together and redraw the Cook County boundry so were no longer in, Cook county! Don't fight, educate. Like the Fire District. Why do we continue to have one? Why? What's the advantage? It's twice the cost, or more than a Fire Department. For no good reason. End it! A Fire department can be funded in any manner. The Fire district (a taxing body) can only tax you to death while they enjoy you clothing them, feeding them, housing them, building them a training school, etc. Sounds like raising your children only not quite as lavish. It doesn't have to be this way. You have the power (referendum) to end this mess. Just like any other mess. Use your rights. YOU are the Government.
**ANGEL eyes** November 13, 2012 at 08:11 PM
You demons are STILL at it! Congressman Rush has been fighting, serving and sacrificing for the PEOPLE since before he was getting paid to do so! It is calling PASSION and PURPOSE! MayBe YOU ALL should find yours instead of HATING on this man. YOU ALL sound BITTER and RACIST! A bitter root just doest produce good fruit! You all should be ashamed of yourselves mentioning his sickness! To HELL w/ you cavemen!
**ANGEL eyes** November 13, 2012 at 08:13 PM
OBAMA all the way!!!!! LOLOLOLOLOL


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