Chicago Pastor Endorses Republican Jim Oberweis


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The Rev. Ira J. Acree, a leader in the Illinois faith community, a social justice activist and senior pastor of Greater St. John Bible Church, today announced his endorsement of businessman Jim Oberweis in his bid to unseat Illinois’ Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. The endorsement from Rev. Acree, a West Side power-broker, comes just days after Oberweis met with African American clergy on the West Side, and where he expressed his commitment to bringing more jobs to the inner city, encouraging business development and supporting initiatives for safe communities.

“Like any other healthy community we want jobs, a thriving economy, great schools and safe neighborhoods,” said Rev. Acree, explaining why he is supporting Oberweis over Durbin. “We clearly have none of the above. The outlook has gotten even worse over the last six years. For decades we have religiously elected Democrats who are not serving our best interests or improving our quality of life. To keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.”

Acree said he’s confident Oberweis has the skills and passion to help remedy the problems residents in under-served communities are addressing. Like a growing number of African leaders in Chicago, Acree said he has become disenchanted with Sen. Dick Durbin, who has failed to participate in any campaigns he has been involved in. And as other African American leaders have expressed, some publicly, but most privately, Durbin’s office simply has not responded or returned phone calls.

“Much of the violence can only be addressed with an economic resolution,” Rev. Acree said. “We need to elect people based on their skill set and policy position rather than their party identification.”

Acree, a staunch Democrat, is part of a growing trend of African American leaders in Chicago endorsing Oberweis. Earlier, Bishop Larry Trotter, the senior pastor of Sweet Holy Spirit Church, and Rev. Corey Brooks, pastor of New Beginnings Church of Chicago, endorsed Oberweis.

Oberweis welcomed the news of the endorsements, and said: “We need all of Illinois working together to solve the issues and to enhance the quality of life in every region of this state. As a member of the U.S. Senate, I look forward to partnering with the faith community, local, state, national and community leaders to make all of Illinois the Illinois we want it to be.”

This article was originally posted at the website.