Omar Aquino

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Omar Aquino

Illinois, State Senator (2016-)

Aquino, a Northwest Sider by birth, was a district staffer for Cong. Tammy Duckworth and long involved in ward politics when he was recruited to run for Alderman in the newly drawn, newly majority Latino 36th Ward in 2015. Backed by Cook County Democratic Chair Joe Berrios, Aquino enjoyed a wealth of resources and support, and bringing fellow challenger Gilbert Villegas to a runoff. But Villegas ultimately bested Aquino 56-44% in the runoff.

Despite his ties to Organization boss Berrios, Aquino was the preferred choice of labor unions when he ran for a newly vacant State Senate seat in March 2016, against charter school proponent Angelica Alfaro to replace progressive independent Willam Delgado. Tagging Alfaro as a plant for Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and with the support of the Chicago Teachers Union, Aquino won the Democratic primary 53-47%.

Shortly after Aquino's primary victory, Delgado retired his seat, handing it over to Aquino before the general election.

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