The race to replace Rahm Emmanuel’s seat in Congress (IL-5) will be intense. But here’s something cool – Thomas Geoghegan, mensch and hero is reportedly in the running.

Who is Thomas Geoghegan?

To the extent Tom is known publicly, it’s mainly because of his books, like Which Side Are You On?, The Secret Lives of Citizens, and In America’s Courts. These really are masterful and original pieces of thinking and writing, which most writers would be content with as their entire contribution to the human endeavor during the period Tom has turned them out. Which Side, which was published in 1991, begins this way:

‘Organized labor.’ Say those words, and your heart sinks. I am a labor lawyer, and my heart sinks. Dumb, stupid organized labor: this is my cause.

The remarkable thing is that in Geoghegan’s case writing has been a sideline. Day by day for several decades he has been a lawyer in a small Chicago law firm representing steel workers, truckers, nurses, and others employees whose travails are the reality covered by abstractions like “the polarization of America” and “the disappearing middle class.” Geoghegan’s skill as a writer and an intellectual are assets but in themselves might not recommend him for a Congressional job. His consistent and canny record of organizing, representing, and defending people who are the natural Democratic (and American) base is the relevant point.

Admirers have raised $10,000 already in anticipation of his bid. If he ends up running this is big news. If he ends up winning it’ll be a huge win for Americans everywhere.

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