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Biss names Wallace as new running mate
by Matt Simonette
2017-09-11


State Sen. Daniel Biss ( D-Evanston ), on Sept. 8, announced that state Rep. Litesa Wallace ( DRockford ) would be his running-mate in the 2018 election to unseat incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner. Wallace's appointment came just days after Biss and his previous pick for lieutenant governor, Chicago Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa ( 35th Ward ), parted ways over comments that Ramirez- Rosa, who is gay, made in support of the Boycott, Divestment & Sanction ( BDS ) movement.

"While I was honored to be chosen as Senator Daniel Biss' gubernatorial running mate, it became clear over the past few days that while we share a total commitment to peace, security, and statehood for the Israeli and Palestinian people, and both oppose pursuing BDS at the state level, the difference of opinion we have on the role the BDS movement plays at the federal level would make it impossible to continue moving forward as a ticket," said Ramirez-Rosa in a Sept. 6 statement. In a statement released on Sept. 6, Biss said that Ramirez-Rosa had initially told him that he opposed BDS, but that, "After much discussion, it's become clear that Carlos' position has changed. While I respect his right to come to his own conclusions on the issue, it simply wasn't the understanding we shared when I asked him to join the ticket."

Biss also explained, "I strongly support a twostate 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."

In the Sept. 8 announcement, Biss praised Wallace, noting that, "As a woman of color, she understands that justice and opportunity aren't equally distributed or readily available to everyone. As a social and economic justice champion in the legislature, she's a proven fighter for the issues and people that have too often been forgotten by the powers in Springfield."

Wallace was appointed to her post representing the 67th District in 2014. She was chief sponsor in the House for legislation that prohibits LGBTpanic as a legal defense in murder cases; Biss introduced that legislation in the Senate. Wallace also sponsored successful legislation that both expanded hate-crimes protections to victims of cyberbullying and allowed the attorney general's office to pursue civil-penalties in hate-crimes cases.

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