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March 20, 2020 9:49 am

Only Rabbi to Serve in Illinois State Legislature Loses Democratic Primary

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Rabbi Yehiel Kalish. Photo: Screenshot. – The only rabbi ever to serve in the Illinois state legislature lost in the Democratic primary on Tuesday.

Rabbi Yehiel Kalish received 31.9 percent of the vote in the state’s 16th District, while the winner, 50-year-old progressive Denyse Wang Stoneback, got 42.9 percent. The suburban district includes Skokie and the Chicago neighborhood of Rogers Park, and is about 30 percent Jewish.

Kalish, 44, was appointed in January 2019 to succeed longtime state Rep. Lou Lang, who resigned due to a business opportunity.

Kalish is chief executive of government affairs and business development firm S4 Group and also the cantor at Congregation Shaarei Tzedek Mishkan Yair in Chicago. He worked for more than a decade at Agudath Israel of America specializing in governmental advocacy.

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