Biss drops Ramirez-Rosa from ticket in bid for Illinois governor

Thu. September 7, 2017 4:27 PM by News Staff

carlos ramirez-rosa (left) with state sen. daniel biss

photo credit // facebook/carlosforchicago
Chicago, IL - Illinois gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss, a Jewish state senator, has dropped openly-gay Chicago Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward) as his running mate.

"Carlos Ramirez-Rosa and I have reached a difficult decision about our ticket. As of today, I'll be moving forward with a new running mate," Biss said in a statement on Wednesday, less than a week altering announcing Ramirez-Rosa as his choice for lieutenant governor.

The changed followed the lost endorsement of Congressman Brad Schneider over Ramirez-Rosa's comments about the U.S.-Israel relationship and membership in the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) that endorsed a policy of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel at a recent convention in Chicago.

"Growing up with an Israeli mother, grandparents who survived the Holocaust, and great-grandparents who did not survive, issues related to the safety and security of the Jewish people are deeply personal to me," Biss' statement reads.

"I strongly support a two-state solution. I support Israel's right to exist, and I support Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. I also care deeply about justice for Palestinians, and believe that a vision for the Middle East must include political and economic freedom for Palestinians," he continued. "That's why I oppose the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, as I believe it moves us further away from a peaceful solution."

According to an interview with the Chicago Reader, Ramirez-Rosa joined the DSA in March.

"Bernie Sanders opened up that door for me," Ramirez-Rosa explained. "I said, if someone could run for president of the United States and say 'I'm a democratic socialist,' then, hell, I can come out of the closet. I've come out of the closet before."

In 2015, Ramirez-Rosa - now 28 - became the youngest current alderman and first openly gay Latino to serve on the Chicago City Council.

Chicago Democratic Socialists of America said in a statement, "It is truly unfortunate that Daniel Biss has met the first challenge of his run for governor by abandoning principle and yielding to this sort of pressure, and causes us to question the commitments he claims to have towards democracy, solidarity, and the interests of working people and marginalized communities."

Biss is among eight candidates, including J.B. Pritzker and Chris Kennedy, vying for the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in November 2018.