Several politicians interested in Rep. Bobby Rush's seat after announcing he will not seek another term

After three decades in the U.S. House, South Side Congressman Bobby Rush says he will not run for a 16th term. 

The announcement ensures a crowded contest to fill his seat in the First District, which has been represented by African-Americans since 1929 — longer than any other congressional district in the country.

Rep. Rush was a Vietnam veteran who came home and joined the Black Panther Party, becoming its Defense Minister. 

The one-time radical mellowed over the years — first winning election to the City Council then to Congress, where he's now one of the most senior members. 

Rush, however, was never a contender for a top congressional leadership spot — highlighting in the minds of some a role they hope his successor will seek. 


"We have in some ways fallen behind at a national level – national, statewide and local level – because quite frankly most of the Black leadership is over 70, and the people that probably had the best ideas are still somewhere waiting their turn," said Commentator Maze Jackson.

There are a dozen or more Black politicians on the South Side in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s who are very interested in the Rush seat.