(CNN)Gun violence prevention activist Kina Collins announced Tuesday that she is launching a new Democratic primary challenge to Rep. Danny Davis in Illinois’ 7th Congressional District.
Davis has been a target of progressive insurgents in recent cycles, winning each time while seeing his vote total slip. He fended off three challengers in 2020, including Collins, who is now running with the support of Justice Democrats as she seeks to consolidate left-wing opposition to Davis.
Collins joins a growing slate of Justice Democrats-backed primary challengers on the 2022 ticket, including Odessa Kelly in Tennessee and New York’s Rana Abdelhamid. The group has also endorsed former state Sen. Nina Turner’s Democratic primary bid in Ohio’s 11th Congressional District, where there is a special election on tap this year to fill the seat of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, who left Congress to join the Biden administration. Despite House Democrats’ poor overall showing in 2020, progressives grew their share of seats in the party’s narrow majority, adding to the left’s increasing influence on Capitol Hill.
If Collins succeeds in denying Davis another term, it would mark the second consecutive primary cycle in which a Justice Democrats-endorsed candidate in Illinois ousted an incumbent on her second attempt — following Rep. Marie Newman’s defeat of former Rep. Dan Lipinski in 2020. Collins took about a third of the anti-Davis vote last year, splitting it with Anthony Clark, who previously challenged Davis in 2018 with Justice Democrats support, and Kristine Schanbacher.
“From leading the gun violence prevention movement in Illinois, to fighting for Medicare for all and holding elected officials accountable after the murder of Laquan McDonald, Kina has already delivered results for her community,” Alexandra Rojas, the executive director of Justice Democrats, said in a statement. “The people of this district are ready for a new generation of leadership who will show up everyday in Congress and fight for the change her community needs.”
In an interview, Collins mentioned the second-chance successes of Newman and Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri, who defeated longtime Rep. William Lacy Clay in 2
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