A Chicago community organizer and entrepreneur announced Friday that he will run in next year's Democratic primary for the 40th Illinois House district seat.
Harish Patel, co-founder of the youth civic engagement group Chicago Votes, said he is running as a progressive candidate against Democratic incumbent Jaime Andrade "because we need representatives in our state capitol of Springfield who aren't driven by insider political games, but by the desire to make life better for our neighbors and our communities."
Patel created a fair trade clothing company and has worked as a community organizer with the Southwest Youth Collaborative and Accelerate Change.
If elected, Patel said he will push for progressive revenue options in Springfield.
"It's time to make sure that the very wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share of taxes in Illinois," he said. "We need independent leaders who will boldly fight back against Gov. Rauner's efforts to slash needed programs for families, children and seniors, and who will work to end the backroom deals that have squandered needed resources for our communities."
Illinois' 40th House district covers Chicago's Northwest Side. Andrade was appointed to the 40th district seat, formerly held by Chicago Ald. Deb Mell (33rd), in August 2013 and won election last year. Andrade was previously a top aide to former Chicago Ald. Dick Mell (33rd), Deb Mell's father, and assistant sergeant of arms for the Chicago City Council.