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Illinois: Big Labor Split in Race For Emanuel’s Seat

Organized labor appears to be splitting their support in the special election to fill the House seat of now-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. More than a dozen Democrats will face off March 3 in the special election primary — a contest that is expected to feature low turnout.

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D) was endorsed by the Service Employees International Union, which boasts 7,300 active members in the north Chicagoland district, according to a press release.

“Her get-things-done reputation means working families will have the right person, at the right time, fighting for their needs in Washington. She knows this recovery must begin in our neighborhoods,” SEIU Illinois Council President Thomas Balanoff said in a statement.

State Rep. John Fritchey, meanwhile, got the backing of the local AFL-CIO last week.

“And although there are many strong candidates in this race, our affiliated unions feel Representative Fritchey will best serve the nearly 25,000 union members in the 5th Congressional District,” AFL-CIO State Federation President Michael Carrigan said in a statement.

Along with Feigenholtz and Fritchey, Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley and Alderman Patrick O’Connor are also considered to be top-tier candidates. The special election is scheduled for April 7; however, the March primary is expected to determine the next Member in the heavily Democratic district.

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