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Bernard Schoenburg

New job for a defeated candidate

Biss now heads Democratic group that's supporting regional hopefuls

Biss now heads Democratic group that's supporting regional hopefuls

State Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, who ran in the Democratic primary for governor, announced Monday he is now executive director of an organization called Rust Belt Rising.

Biss said in the announcement the group is “a young organization created to train Midwestern Democratic candidates to lead on economic issues. The goal is to bring the Democratic Party back to its roots as the party of working families who have been left behind by a system rigged in favor of the top 1 percent.”

Biss said in an interview that he started the new job in early September. Many members of the Senate have other jobs, and Biss said he is staying in the Senate for now. His current 4-year term from the 9th Senate District ends in January.

Biss, 41, came in a distant second in a multi-candidate March primary for governor, losing to J.B. Pritzker of Chicago.

According to Rust Belt Rising’s website, the group “helps Democratic candidates in the Great Lakes region win elections by leading on the bread-and-butter issues critical to working families.” Biss said the group was created in the aftermath of the election of President Donald Trump.

In his emailed announcement to supporters and friends, Biss said he’s excited to lead the organization, which has an office in Chicago.

“Already in this election cycle, we’re training over 100 candidates, and this is just the beginning,” he said.

He also said that as Democrats “hopefully head toward a blue wave election this November, it’s become clearer than ever that in a world with terrifying consolidation of wealth, power, and privilege in the hands of a very few, the path to success is to focus on an agenda and message that unites the many who have been left behind around a bold vision of the just society we can build together.”

Pritzker is a billionaire, and during the primary campaign, Biss called him “Mike Madigan’s candidate,” which is a similar message that Republicans have been using, linking Pritzker to the House speaker.

But after the primary, Biss said he had a series of “productive discussions” with Pritzker, and in May said he was “all in” for Pritzker’s election in November.

Pritzker has said he will be independent as governor.

New job for a defeated candidate Biss heads Democratic candidate development groupshaw-push-component-1

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