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Bobby L. Rush (D)
Date Of Birth & Birthplace: 11/23/1946 (Albany, GA)
Race: Black
Religion: Baptist
Residence: Chicago, IL
Education: BA in General Studies from Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL; MA in Theological Studies from McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL; MA in Political Science from University of Illinois, Chicago, IL
Occupation: Activist
Office Type: U.S. House -- Illinois District 1 

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Bobby Rush was born in Albany, Ga., and grew up and attended school in Chicago, where he still lives.

He volunteered for the U.S. Army from 1963-68. He joined the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in 1966, while stationed in Chicago.

Rush went AWOL in 1968 and co-founded the Illinois Black Panthers following the assasination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The Army later gave him an honorable discharge.

His connection to the Black Panther party began unraveling shortly after a 1969 police raid that killed deputy chairman Fred Hampton, 20, and Mark Clark, 21, in a hail of gunfire. Rush had left only hours before. He served six months in prison for illegal possession of firearms.

Rush also ran a medical clinic which developed the nation's first mass sickle cell anemia testing program while with the Black Panthers.

He received a bachelor's degree from Roosevelt University in 1973. In 1983, he was elected Chicago city alderman. He was first elected to the U.S. House in 1992.

He received a master's degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1994. He became an ordained Baptist minister soon after finishing the McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago in 1998.

He is a pastor of the Beloved Community Christian Church. His bid to return to Chicago as its mayor ended in crushing defeat in 1999, after Richard M. Daley won re-election in a landslide victory.

In December 2002, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., defeated Rush in a vote over who would head the Congressional Black Caucus.

Rush serves on the House Democratic leadership team as an assistant whip. He is also chair of the Congressional Biotechnology Caucus.

Rush and his wife, Carolyn, have five children. A sixth child, son Huey Rich, from a former relationship, was shot to death in 1999. Two men were convicted in his robbery and killing.

Past Campaigns:

Bobby Rush was Chicago elected city alderman in 1983 and was re-elected twice. He defeated incumbent Rep. Charles Hayes in the March 1992 Democratic primary.

He was elected to the U.S. House in 1992 with 82 percent of the vote, defeating Republican Jay Walker. He defeated Republican William Kelly in 1994 with 75 percent of the vote. In 1996, he was re-elected with 85 percent of the vote against Republican Noel Naughton. In 1998, Rush defeated Republican Marlene White Ahimaz with 87 percent of the vote.

He lost a 1999 bid to unseat Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, receiving only 28 percent of the vote, including 45 percent of the black vote.

In 2000, Rush easily won a fifth congressional term against Republican Raymond Wardingley, a retired clown, after fighting off two serious challengers for a solid primary win, somewhat vindicating his crushing loss in the mayoral bid. He again defeated Wardingley in 2002 with 81 percent of the vote and faces him for the third time as he seeks his seventh House term this November.

In the 2002 Democratic primary, he fought off three candidates, receiving 61 percent of the vote _ more than double the 30 percent received by the second-place finisher, state Sen. Barack Obama, who is the 2004 Democratic nominee for Republican U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald's open seat.

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