In Surprise Move, Illinois Rep. Gutiérrez Won’t Seek Re-Election, Says He’ll Focus on Puerto Rico

Illinois Democratic Congressmember Luis Gutiérrez announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election, because he instead plans to focus on rebuilding Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. This comes as the Federal Emergency Management Agency reportedly gave more than $30 million in contracts to a newly created Florida company called Bronze Star, LLC, which failed to deliver any aid to Puerto Rico. We get response from Democracy Now! co-host Juan González.

TRANSCRIPT

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, Democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And I’m Juan González. Welcome to all of our listeners and viewers around the country and around the world.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Juan, before we move on to the tax bill and speak with Heather McGhee of Demos, what about this news? This double-header here. You’ve got Luis Gutiérrez saying he’s stepping down, and then you’ve got the news about Puerto Rico.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: When it comes to the issue of Gutiérrez, this is a complete surprise. He was actually filing petitions to run again for Congress, and suddenly, within a day after filing those petitions, then has an announcement that he is resigning from Congress and that he won’t run again — he will serve out his term, but won’t run again in 2018 — and immediately then endorses Jesus “Chuy” García to be the successor to his seat.

Now of course, by naming Garcia at the very last moment — because petitions in Chicago to run for office have to be in very soon for a primary that’s in March — So, he basically precludes any one of numerous other challengers that may have decided to run for the seat. At the same time, he takes Chuy García out of a potential run for mayor of Chicago against Rahm Emanuel.

AMY GOODMAN: A rematch.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: A rematch, right, in 2019. Rahm Emanuel has already said he is going to run for a third term. Chuy García was the leading candidate to run against Rahm Emanuel.

AMY GOODMAN: And he lost in a…

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