Bobby Rush is a politician, founder of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, and pastor. He currently serves as the US Representative for Illinois’s 1st congressional district, a position he has maintained since 1993. In 2000, the then-State Senator Barack Obama challenged Rush for his congressional seat in the Democratic primary, campaigning with the rhetoric that Rush represented a politics rooted in the past. But Rush, a local legend, former alderman, and four-term incumbent who had given voters no obvious reason to displace him, ended up victorious with just over 60% of the vote. Rush remains the only politician to have beaten Obama in any election. Rush did not support Obama in his 2004 US Senate campaign, but announced early on in the 2008 primaries that he would support Obama for president.
"The single moment when I knew that I had to get busy and do more was around the death of my son." Bobby Rush