He faces the well-known incumbent in a district where Democrats are considered a shoo-in for public office. Mr. Meaghan’s campaign has not raised any money to date and, in the age of the Internet, has no website or social media accounts.
“Ever heard of a shoestring budget?” Monaghan said. “Well I don’t even have a string for my shoe.”
I agree with John he says he has one major asset: “I can talk. And I’m not afraid to talk.” I personally know John, and not only can he talk, but he is highly compassionate for the welfare of U.S. Veterans and the community.
65 year old John Monaghan said he will stride to chat his way to Congress on Nov. 6, when 7th District voters will decide who they want to represent them in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Danny Davis, who was first elected to Congress back in November 1996, has easily won past re-election races and it seems his current campaign is still, and has always been in the past, focused on increasing voter turnout with no real need to focus on challengers. But Monaghan says that’s exactly his point — Davis has not faced any real opposition in the past, and John believes it’s time for new leadership. Someone to represent the diverse 7th district, where some of the richest and poorest citizens of Cook County reside.
And again this time, other than Mr. Monaghan, Davis has has no real competition this time around. Danny Davis’ only other opponent, Republican candidate Rita Zak, has not raised any money either, and admits that she is only running in protest of a district that never sees improvement.
Monaghan and Alex Beverly both agree on the importance of giving voters a choice, particularly in the 7th district which includes parts of Chicago “plagued by crime, poverty and chronic unemployment. “
If anyone looks at anything around here, nothing’s changed,” Monaghan said last week at his campaign headquarters at Rose’s Boutique in Oak Park. “Other congressional districts are doing a lot better. … I’ll wake up the neighborhood.”
Monaghan was born in the 7th District as the first of seven children in an Irish Catholic family on Chicago’s West Side. His family moved to the Village of Hillside when he was a child.
In 1966 Monaghan joined the Air Force and served one tour in Vietnam. Monaghan said he can relate to the issues many veterans face transitioning back to civilian life, noting, “Nobody came back from that war the same. Monaghan then served another stint in the Air Force Reserves, but retired a master sergeant after suffering a heart attack. He has also worked for Forest Preserve District of Cook County.
Monaghan’s other political experience includes being a precinct captain, secretary to the Democratic Party of Proviso Township, and the Hillside Library Board.
Now retired and living in Oak Park, Monaghan said he’s “running a poor man’s campaign for the poor.” If elected to Congress, he said he would work to eliminate tax breaks to corporations that outsource jobs, serve as a voice for veterans and their families, would be focus on bringing in federal programs that support low-income people and small businesses.
Mr. Monaghan says “running as an Independent allows me to more easily work with people on both sides of the aisle. I can sit with Democrats and Republicans. I don’t have any allegiance to any one party.”
Comments made by Ira Cohen, director of issues and communications in Davis’ office, said “he does not buy the idea that changing leadership would improve the endemic issues that plague many areas of the district. “ “I’m not greatly impressed by the idea that you should change because someone has been put in office for a long time,” Cohen said during an interview last week at Wallace’s Catfish Corner on Chicago’s West Side. “Change for what? To what? If somebody has a better idea of how to address the issues in this community, I know the congressman would like to hear it.”
Without any money or organized campaign to speak of, Monaghan is looking toward Election Day knowing that voters want to see change.
“People are hungry for a fair shot,” Monaghan said. “They’re not getting a fair shot.