Progressive Democrat Ryan Huffman has announced his candidacy for Illinois’ 6th Congressional District.
If he wins the primary election, he could face Peter Roskam, R-Wheaton, in the general election in November 2018.
“It will take a youth movement in this district if we’re finally going to flip this seat blue,” said the 31-year-old Huffman in a news release, noting that the share of millennials voting in the 6th Congressional District’s primary tripled in 2016 thanks to Bernie Sanders. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for all the Democrats running in this pivotal race, but if we keep running the same kind of campaign we’ve run against Roskam for over a decade, the result will be just as disappointing.”
Huffman, a data analyst and policy expert who worked on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and in his White House, listed wealth inequality, climate change and student loan reform as issues key to winning over hard-to-reach millennial voters.
“All over the country, people in my generation are looking for new leaders who will address the issues that matter to them,” said Huffman, who holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Chicago. “We are a passionate and hopeful generation, and we’re ready to move beyond the tired politics of the past.”
Because he believes it’s so critically important to break the stranglehold of special interests on politics, Huffman, a Palatine resident, has pledged that he will accept no special interest or corporate money during the campaign or while in office, and he encourages his opponents to do the same.
“While my top priority is flipping the 6th District blue, it’s important that we do it the right way,” said Huffman. “Switching from a Republican owned by corporations to a Democrat owned by corporations is not the way forward for our party or our country.”