Harris: 'Barrage of lies' helped defeat him in District 7 primary
Still decompressing from a recent failed attempt to unseat Dist. 7 Democratic state House Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, Chris Harris said the March 15 primary election was unfortunate for the state.
“If you look across the board, all of the reform candidates lost, and they all had to deal with the same nonsense I had to deal with, which was a barrage of lies," Harris said. "It’s unfortunate that that tactic works and that negative campaigning built on lies works. It’s hard to beat some of these incumbents who aren’t really doing their jobs."
Harris also told West Cook News that Welch’s hefty campaign donations from special-interest groups worked against him.
“The special-interest money that Welch’s campaign kicked in was in the hundreds of thousands, and when you’re controlled by that amount of special-interest money, are you really looking out for the people? I don’t think so,” Harris said.
Conversely, Harris said his biggest campaign contribution was $500.
“I received a few $500 donations from different people across the district who actually wanted representation and not a person who’s in there who’s representing special-interest groups," Harris said. "They wanted someone who was going to do what’s best for the district. It was heart-warming to see all of these $25, $50, $100 checks coming in from people all over the district, compared to $10,000 checks from special interests that my opponent got,” Harris said.
In breaking down the total of 27,116 votes cast, Harris said he won Forest Park and River Forest, among the 34.37 percent of the votes he received. Harris said the fact that both towns have local newspapers to inform constituents worked in his favor.
“The rest of the district is just a vacuum … because the problem is that it’s so hard to reach people, for people to know what’s going on, and the details of what their representatives are doing and how they’re failing them," Harris said. “Fortunately, the two towns that have had newspapers for decades upon decades, I won. I think that says a lot because (voters) got to know my opponent over the years because the newspapers covered him and they saw the destruction he has done over the years. In the other parts of the district, there’s a big void."
Harris noted that the Chicago Tribune endorsed him.
In looking ahead, Harris said he hasn’t yet thought about making another run for the Democratic candidacy.
“I haven't even thought about it," Harris said. "I’ll stay active in trying to do what’s best for the district. I kind of have an activist mindset when it comes to that; I’ve always been involved. For the race in two years? I have no clue. But to get the best representation in office, that is a goal of mine."