Evanston District 65 School Board member Candance Chow today announced that she’s endorsed Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, who defeated her in the Democratic primary for the 17th District State House seat representing Evanston.

In a statement, Chow said, “Over the past few months, I have had a series of discussions with Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz and shared my concerns for the changes we need in Springfield to better serve our communities and face our challenges as a state.

“Jennifer’s recent statements on the need for continued pressure and action to address the culture of harassment and influence in Springfield as well as the need to restructure our campaign financing and legislative governance make me confident that Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz will bring a strong, independent voice to Springfield when we need it most.

“I believe we share the same commitment to ensuring that our political system is accountable to everyone and that our budget and economy give every Illinoisan an opportunity to succeed. I’m proud to endorse Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz for State Representative and look forward to working with her to further our shared commitments to our communities and state.”

Gong-Gershowitz, an immigration law attorney, praised Chow for her efforts to improve education, adding, “I’m thrilled to partner with her on initiatives that focus on early childhood education, workforce development, and our shared commitment to serving under-resourced areas” in the district.

In the five-way March 20 primary race for the vacant seat Gong-Gershowitz received 36.6 percent of the vote to 33.6 percent for Chow.

The race included some heated moments, including a campaign flier put out by the Gong-Gershowitz camp that accused Chow of doing the bidding of two Republicans — Gov. Rauner and President Trump — because she opposed a bill that would have imposed a temporary statewide property tax freeze on schools.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Gong-Gersowitz

    From Evanston Now March 8, 2018:

    A Madigan-controlled PAC has poured at least $37,000 into the Gong-Gershowitz campaign and Chow has drawn Gong-Gershowitz’s ire by calling on her to return the Madigan money

    So, a vote for Gong-Gershowitz is a vote for Mike Madigan.  How’s that been working for Illinois?  Too bad Ms. Chow decided to sell out to Mike Madigan.

  2. Gong-Gershowitz ethical issues

    During the Democratic primary, many of the flyers from the Gong-Gershowitz campaign were highly misleading toward her strongest opponent, Candance Chow, and many were outright lies. The smear tactics and ethics displayed by Gong-Gershowiitz caused the Evanston RoundTable to write a highly unusual editorial encouraging voters NOT to support her campaign. I concur. And while time has passed, I have not forgotten these tactics and I will not support nor vote for Gong-Gershowitz.

    I believe it is critical for a well functioning democracy to have disclosure and transparency. And towards that end,I share the following sources of money which funded the Gershowitz campaign.

    Only a very small amount of total funds raised (3% or $23,000) is from individuals residing in the 17th District.

    Almost $100,000 came from Mike Madigan controlled organizations, namely the “Democratic Majority” and “Friends of Michael J Madigan.” This money was used for printing and postage of misleading attack advertisements. None of the other candidates vying for the 17th district seat received money from these Madigan controlled organizations.

    Most concerning, however, is the $400,000 donated in the way of “transfers” from the campaign committees of 9 current State Representatives. These included:

    · “Citizens for Gregory Harris” (13th District) – $55,000

    · “Citizens for Lou Lang” (16th District) – $54,000

    · “Citizens for Moylan” (55th District) – $55,000

    · “Friends of Robert Martwick” (19th District) – $55,000

    · “Friends of Tabares” (21st District) – $35,000

    · “Friends of Elect Kathleen Willis”(77th District) – $55,000

    · “People for Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch” (7th District) – $55,400

    · “Friends of Michelle Mussman” (56th District) – $35,000

    · “Citizens for Elaine Nekritz” (57th District) – $1,000 

    It is worth noting that $359,400 or 90% of these donations, were received on a single day (March 13th), a week before the election. Why did these Representatives from other State House Districts funnel large amounts of money into the 17th District primary race? This appeared to be a coordinated effort orchestrated by the leaders of the state party to determine the representative for our district. I think it is a fair question to ask what will Jen Gong-Gershowitz owe these other Representatives and Michael J Madigan?

    Political Action Committee donations (20 in total) were $93,000.

    Individual contributions total about $145,000, but “Out of State” contributions comprised about $60,000 and “Out of District” Illinois contributions were $63,000. As noted above, only about $22,000 or 3% of total funds was received from 17th District residents, people whom Gong-Gershowitz would supposedly represent, if elected.

    Voters should be concerned that Gong-Gershowitz will be beholden to Mike Madigan and her State Representative colleagues and not voters in the 17th District. Voters should know not only how much money Gong-Gershowitz spent on her democratic primary, but also the sources of her funding.

    Character is destiny.

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *