A Message From the Founding Chair

Dear Friends,

laurenI know how you feel. I feel the same way. The outcome of the presidential election upset me, too. And, let’s face it, the country that we live in will be different—for the time being at least—from what we had envisioned. That much is undeniable.

But you know what? I’ve been here before. Several years ago, as a member of the Illinois state legislature, I ran for Congress in one of the most closely-watched races in the entire country that year. It was tough. It was close. And I lost with 49% of the vote.

I’d be lying if I said losing that campaign didn’t hurt—it did. But I turned my disappointment into action. We founded Tenth Dems. For over a decade now, our grassroots group has worked to elect Democrats to all levels of government within the 10th Congressional District. Since then Democrats won control of Congress, giving the country its first female Speaker of the House. My General Assembly colleague Barack Obama won his Senate campaign in Illinois and then won two presidential elections. And the House seat that almost went to Democrats in 2000 has now been won twice by Brad Schneider!

A lot has happened…but not by accident. Boy, have things changed from the days when I served as the only Democratic legislator in the state legislature from Lake County! We have won so many races. And in 2016, while other parts of the country saw a rightward pull, the 10th District bucked the trend and elected Democrats up and down the ballot.

Congratulations to all of our wonderful Democratic candidates. Some of our victorious candidates include Tammy Duckworth, Susana Mendoza, Brad Schneider, Kim Foxx, Melinda Bush, Julie Morrison, Sam Yingling, Carol Sente, and Erin Cartwright Weinstein. We’re grateful to all the candidates who ran under the Democratic banner, whether they won or lost, and were willing to put themselves forward in order to make our world a better place. Your work helping to grow the Democratic infrastructure WILL make a difference. Thank you.

In one of the most closely-watched races this campaign cycle, Democrat Brad Schneider defeated the incumbent Republican Congressman. Now, more than ever, the people of the 10th District must be represented in Washington by someone who is not afraid to stand up to Donald Trump and a right-wing Congress when they continue their assault on the environment, gun violence legislation, women’s choice, immigration reform, LGBT rights, and an economy that works for all. Fortunately, we will have Brad fighting for all of us.

And I’m so glad that Brad will represent us in the Illinois delegation along with Tammy Duckworth, who defeated Republican Mark Kirk to become our new U.S. Senator from Illinois. I must say, this is a defeat I’ve been working toward for a very long time.

Tenth Dems activists helped make a significant difference for our local 2016 candidates. Those candidates will continue to build on the progress we’ve made nationally and locally and will stand up to those looking to take us backwards.

In the end, we get the elected officials we want by starting at the grassroots level, whether it’s knocking on doors, making phone calls, or staffing offices. Though it was a good night for many of our candidates in the 10th District, the national results were heartbreaking.

So, friends, take some time (but not very much) and let’s dust ourselves off and get started again soon. It’s the only way we can build on the momentum we created in 2016. I know we can do it together.


Hon. Lauren Beth Gash
Tenth Dems Founding Chair

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