Politics

A Young Female Progressive Wants To Unseat Veteran Senate Democrat Dick Durbin. Sound Familiar?

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Evie Fordham Politics and Health Care Reporter

A self-proclaimed “bold progressive” candidate announced Tuesday that she will challenge Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a high-ranking Democrat, in 2020.

Anne Stava-Murray, 32, is an Illinois native who was elected to her first term in the Illinois House in 2018. Durbin said he was planning to run for re-election on CNN’s “New Day” less than two days after Stava-Murray’s announcement.

“I ran for State Rep in 2018 because I was so sick of being indirectly bullied by our political machines who care more about preserving themselves than the health and wellness of the people,” she wrote in her Facebook announcement.

Durbin is a veteran senator who has served since 1996 and will turn 76 in 2020. Stava-Murray has never met Durbin and called him “more centrist” according to the Daily Herald. (RELATED: Top Hopeful To Take On Trump For President Wins Porker Of The Year Award)

“I think that he sort of writes off the progressive branch of the party, of which I identify myself with, as being unwilling to compromise, and certainly there might be some key players who aren’t giving the progressive cause a good look, but in the most part what I see when I talk to my fellow progressives and Democrats in Springfield and other fellow progressive Democrats is a total willingness to work across the aisle,” Stava-Murray said according to the Daily Herald.

Her platform includes Medicare for all, equal pay for women and union solidarity, according to her Facebook post.

Stava-Murray said she has already been threatened because she plans to vote against longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Democrat, reported the Daily Herald. She is critical of the state legislature and what she describes as its atmosphere of sexual harassment.

One alleged incident made Stava-Murray decide she would only spend one term in the State House. The Chicago Sun-Times reported on Dec. 13:

[S]he says that at a dinner featuring lawmakers she and other freshman legislators were “forcibly kissed” — although she didn’t immediately elaborate on that situation.

Stava-Murray’s opposition to Durbin is reminiscent of Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s decision to run against incumbent Joe Crowley. However, Stava-Murray is unlikely to find many allies in the state Democratic Party. She declined help from the party “even in the form of voter lists,” reported the Chicago Tribune.

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan as he arrives to address the Illinois General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois on February 10, 2016. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan as he arrives to address the Illinois General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois on Feb. 10, 2016. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The powerful House speaker whom Stava-Murray has criticized has been entangled in scandal before. His former Chief of Staff Timothy Mapes resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment on June 6 but was set to receive compensation of $130,500 for unused vacation and sick days.

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