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  NOW endorses Schmidt for governor of Illinois 1998
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ContributorCOSDem 
Last EditedCOSDem  Jul 24, 2005 10:22pm
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CategoryEndorsement
News DateFriday, January 16, 1998 04:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionThe National Organization of Women gave Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Schmidt a ringing endorsement Monday, describing the former U.S. Justice Department official as the most formidable, progressive candidate in the race.

The group, which represents thousands of women in 25 chapters across the state, voted unanimously to back Schmidt, whose solid record on women's issues has heightened his popularity among female voters. Consequently, Schmidt has been gaining momentum in a crowded four-way primary, which culminates March 17.

In a prepared statement, NOW president Lorna Brett said, "Throughout this campaign, John Schmidt has shown forward thinking on issues that make a difference in the quality of life in Illinois. . . John Schmidt is the candidate who can beat George Ryan (the presumptive GOP nominee)."

While in the Justice Department, Schmidt helped to draft and implement the Violence Against Women Act, directed enforcement of the federal clinic access law and aided in establishing a national sex offender registry. The Chicago lawyer has been pushing aggressive proposals to expand child care, crack down on deadbeat dads, and enforce Roe v. Wade as state law.

Schmidt's strong pro-choice stance pits him against anti-choice candidate and Democratic rival Rep. Glenn Poshard of Marion. Both candidates have procured important endorsements in the last week, and have been fighting to claim bragging rights in key primary areas. Schmidt's wealthy, tenacious base in suburban Chicago, gives him the edge in the vote rich collar counties where Poshard has only begun to surface. But, Poshard's solid downstate constituency brings another dimension to a primary race dominated in the past by northern candidates.
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