CHICAGO, Ill. – The Equality Illinois Political Action Committee issued its first round of endorsements for the 2016 primary elections on Monday, supporting Susana Mendoza for the Democratic nomination for Illinois State Comptroller and the re-election of 24 incumbent state legislators who have supported measures advancing LGBT equality in Illinois.

The Equality Illinois PAC, the political arm of Equality Illinois, is the only statewide political entity that is dedicated to securing and defending the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans through engagement in the electoral process.

There is only one statewide race in the 2016 election, for state comptroller. In the Democratic primary the Equality Illinois PAC endorses Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza.

“Susana Mendoza is a champion of LGBT equality," said Nicole Bashor, Chair of the Equality Illinois PAC. "As a state representative, she voted for non-discrimination protections in 2005 and civil unions in 2010. That’s why we are proud to endorse Mendoza for Illinois State Comptroller in the Democratic primary.”

The incumbent lawmakers being endorsed for re-election have stood with Equality Illinois as the struggle for fair and equal treatment continued beyond our successful fight for marriage equality.

“The ballot box is one of the most important tools to achieving equal rights. And the proof is in our progress,” Bashor said. “From enhancing our state’s hate crimes protections to include gender identity and LGBT community centers to protecting LGBT youth from so-called conversion therapy, we made great strides in 2015 thanks to these pro-equality supporters in the General Assembly."

A second round of endorsements will be made shortly in legislative districts where there is no incumbent, as well as for local offices.

Endorsements are based on a candidate's record in office and responses submitted on the Equality Illinois PAC's 2016 candidate questionnaire. Read more about the Equality Illinois PAC at < v=2&c=lL7z53g1JutssOwDD9i1XquLT0%2BxJQR9> .

“Elections matter,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state’s oldest and largest advocacy organization for LGBT Illinoisans. “As we’ve seen across the country, the opponents of LGBT equality are more determined than ever to stop progress towards lived equality. We must be vigilant and vigorous in our work to secure and defend equal rights, and we must re-elect those legislators who have consistently stood with LGBT Illinoisans.”

2016 Primary Election Endorsements by Equality Illinois PAC:

Illinois State Comptroller - Democratic Primary

Susana Mendoza

Illinois Senate (District number)

Heather Steans (7)
Laura Murphy (28)
Scott Bennett (52)

Illinois House of Representatives (District number)

Cynthia Soto (4)
Sonya Harper (6)
Emanuel “Chris” Welch (7)
Ann Williams (11)
Sara Feigenholtz (12)
Greg Harris (13)
Kelly Cassidy (14)
John D’Amico (15)
Lou Lang (16)
Laura Fine (17)
Robyn Gabel (18)
Michael J. Madigan (22)
Christian Mitchell (26)
Thaddeus Jones (29)
Al Riley (38)
Will Guzzardi (39)
Jaime Andrade (40)
Litesa Wallace (67)
Mike Smiddy (71)
Stephanie Kifowit (84)
Jay Hoffman (113)



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