Political newcomer Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D) won the race for Illinois’ 17th House District, beating another newcomer Peter Lee and taking Laura Fine’s open seat. The 17th district includes parts of Evanston, Northwestern included.
While Gong-Gershowitz has experience as an attorney, she’s new to holding political office. Weinberg freshman Ben Bernstein said that her win was expected, and that she was heavily favored.
“The Democrats ran a really good campaign and the work paid off,” Bernstein said. “She’s a fresh face with fresh new ideas. She definitely is intelligent and qualified enough.”
Bernstein believes Gong-Gershowitz's successful campaign was due to her many forms of outreach to the community, such as canvassing door-to-door and phone banking. She also utilized both high school and college students for her campaign, he said.
“When the diverse Obama coalition shows up, the Republicans lose majoritarian elections," said political science professor Alvin Tillery in a statement. “The huge turnout in Democratic areas in the early voting exit polls shows that this coalition is awake for this midterm election.”
Known to embrace her diverse background, Gong-Gershowitz used her platform to appeal to a broader audience.