U.S. Senate candidate Andrea Zopp is making criminal justice issues the focus of her campaign, while criticizing one of her primary opponents for “playing it safe.”
In a speech to the City Club of Chicago Wednesday, Zopp outlined her plans for policing reform, citing her experience as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and as former president of the Chicago Urban League as reasons why she’d address issues raised by police-involved shootings more effectively than her primary opponents.
“The roots of the divide between law enforcement and communities of color are embedded in the racial issues that often separate us,” Zopp said. “We cannot move forward if we do not understand where we have been.”
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Zopp’s specific plans include passing a federal law which “bans racial profiling in all contexts” within law enforcement. She also called for requiring state’s attorneys around the country to publicly report statistics on shootings involving police officers annually.
While Zopp didn’t mention one of her primary opponents, State Sen. Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey), she did criticize the frontrunner in the race, U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Hoffman Estates) for not supporting the Iran nuclear deal as quickly as she did.
“Congresswoman Duckworth could actually have made a difference because who she was and who she is, and chose not to,” Zopp said. “We don’t have time for safe politics anymore.”
Duckworth’s campaign manager Matt McGrath responded by saying ““Her comments are misguided and unfortunate, and betray the frustrations of a candidate and campaign that hasn't managed to break through or meet expectations. Tammy's record of public service, careful deliberation of national security issues, and defending her country speaks for itself.”
Harris’s campaign didn’t return a request for comment.
Duckworth has the current advantage in fundraising in the primary race. She raised $1.6 million in the final quarter of 2015, while Zopp raised $314,000. Harris’s fundraising numbers weren’t reported, as he only declared his candidacy in November.
The three candidates are set to meet in a televised debate next month.