A couple of social media posts on National Pizza Day sparked a debate about which state has the best pizza.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy posted a video on X, formerly known as Twitter, proclaiming his state is home to the best pizza in the world.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker responded “LOL” with a meme of actress Jennifer Lawrence rolling her eyes and giving a sarcastic thumbs up. Pritzker’s post had more than 2,400 likes.
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Which state in the U.S. has the best pizza?
One commenter posted a 2013 video of Jon Stewart, who is once again the host of the “The Daily Show.” In the video, Stewart denigrates deep dish pizza, which Chicago is famous for.
“Deep dish pizza is not only not better than New York pizza, it’s not pizza,” he said. “It’s a (expletive) casserole.”
More than 100 comments came after Pritzker’s post, with opinions on both sides of the debate:
“Born & raised in NJ, currently living in Illinois. Not even close, better pizza in NJ every time.”
“Jay Bob, we aren’t anywhere close to New Jersey on this grow up.”
“Get him J.B.!!!”
“Haha. Good one, JB. Fight for our honor.”
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According to an article by the Daily Meal, Illinois and New Jersey both have some of the best pizza joints in the country. Pequod’s in Chicago took second place, and the New Jersey eatery Razza Pizza Artigianale was in fourth place. In the No. 1 spot was Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven Connecticut.
“You’re both losing to Connecticut.”
Penn State takes down No. 12 Illinois, LSU beats Kentucky at the buzzer in wild Wednesday
In the Illinois 6th congressional district Democratic primary, the war in Gaza emerges as a focal point
Complete coverage of the local and national primary and general election, including results, analysis and voter resources to keep Chicago voters informed.
WASHINGTON — Flush with political cash, Rep. Sean Casten faces rivals running shoestring campaigns in his bid for a fourth term in the Chicago area’s 6th congressional district.
His opponents in the March 19 Democratic primary: Mahnoor Ahmad, a public health administrator who is running for the first time, and Charles Hughes, who has made several unsuccessful runs for elected office.
The 6th district includes precincts in a handful of Southwest Side wards but is mainly suburban, and includes most of Bridgeview, Palos Hills and other areas that make up what is called “Little Palestine” because of the large numbers of Palestinian and Palestinian-American residents.
How the U.S. is and should be responding to the Israel-Hamas war — which under Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spawned a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, where Hamas holds Israeli hostages — has emerged as an issue in the 6th District’s March 19 primary.
With new district boundaries drawn following the 2020 Census, Casten faced off with another incumbent, now ex-Rep. Marie Newman from La Grange in the 2022 Democratic primary, defeating her 68% to 29% with Hughes getting 3%. In the general election, Republican Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau lost to Casten by almost nine points. Casten beat GOP former state Rep. Jeanne Ives from Wheaton by seven points in 2020.
Those back-to-back Republican losses discouraged established Republicans from running in 2024. Niki Conforti, from Glen Ellyn, who lost her GOP primary bid for the seat in 2022, is the only Republican on the 2024 ballot. The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter ranks this seat safe for Democrats in 2024, so the winner of the primary is almost certain to clinch in November.
Casten, 52, born in Dublin, Ireland, lives in Downers Grove. He is a member of the Financial Services and Science, Space, and Technology Committees. The environment and fighting climate change have been his signature issues since first running for the seat in 2018. Before coming to Congress, Casten worked in the clean energy industry.
A major Casten initiative right now is a bill he introduced in December titled the “Clean Electricity and Transmission Acceleration Act of 2023.” The bill states that its goal is to “speed up the deployment of electricity transmission and clean energy, with proper input from affected communities,” in order to improve electricity transmission nationally.
In January, 2023, Casten launched a long-shot crusade to increase the size of the House and Senate and revamp the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under a package of bills he named “A Common Sense Vision for American Democracy.”
Casten’s Jan. 31 campaign fund cash-on-hand balance reported to the Federal Election Commission was $1,041,501.47.
Ahmad, 32, born in Quetta, Pakistan, lives in Oakbrook Terrace. For most of her career in health care, she said she worked in Gary, Ind., at Northwest Health, an Indiana network of medical providers, where she rose through the ranks to become a public health administrator at the organization.
A reason she is running, she said, is to provide more funding to research health equity, specifically, the “social determinants” of health, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “encompasses economic and social conditions that influence the health of people and communities.”
“I wanted to focus mainly on the social determinant factors that ultimately determine your health for the rest of your life,” Ahmad said in an interview.
She faulted Casten for voting against the Patient Advocate Tracker Act which passed the House with 411 votes in May 2022, and creates an online portal where veterans can track the status of formal complaints they file through the Department of Veterans Affairs. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Lisa McClain, a Michigan Republican who voted to overturn the election results on Jan. 6, 2021. In 2021 and 2022, Casten, as a symbolic protest, voted no on any bill sponsored by a member who refused to certify Joe Biden’s election.
House candidates are required to file with the House Clerk a personal financial disclosure report if $5,000 has been raised or spent for a campaign. Ahmad has not filed a disclosure, saying she was not aware of this requirement.
Ahmad’s Jan. 31 campaign fund cash-on-hand balance was $4,146.59.
Hughes, 60, was born in Chicago and is an operations technician with Nicor Gas. A Southwest Side resident, Hughes does not live in the 6th district. Candidates for Congress are not required to reside in the district they are running from.
Hughes came up in politics as part of the old 23rd Ward Democratic organization, when former Rep. Bill Lipinski was the committeeman. Hughes had a series of city jobs in the 1990s. He ran for alderman but got knocked off the ballot, and also ran for committeeman. He waged unsuccessful bids for Congress in 2018 and 2022. Hughes did not file the required disclosure with the House Clerk.
Hughes Jan. 31 campaign fund cash-on-hand balance was $9.39.
Primary reflects Democratic splits over Israel-Hamas war
Divides among Democrats have developed over the Israel-Hamas war, and they are reflected in the primary, where Ahmad is among the pro-Palestinian Democrats who are strong critics of Biden’s stance towards Israel. They say the Biden administration is not doing enough to pressure Netanyahu to agree to a cease-fire.
Pro-Palestinian activists have demonstrated at Casten’s office and home, demanding that he call for a cease-fire.
Following the Hamas attacks in Israel on Oct. 7, Israel launched military strikes in Gaza to root out Hamas and rescue the hostages. However, Israel’s relentless assaults on Gaza to destroy Hamas tunnels which shield their fighters has resulted in a soaring number of civilian deaths, massive destruction and displacement of more than a million people.
Ending the horrific violence in Gaza needs the agreement of two parties — Hamas and the government of Israel, led by Netanyahu.
“I think ultimately, right now we need to call for a cease-fire because we can’t bomb our way to peace,” Ahmad said.
Casten drew 2,800 people to a tele-town hall devoted to the Israel-Hamas war in November. He also took questions on the war during December and January tele-town halls.
He said in an interview that since the war began, he has personally done more than 20 meetings with groups wanting to talk to him about Gaza.
Casten said, “we’ve been very clear that we share the goals to have peace in the region that is lasting and durable and as immediate as possible.”
He is among those who have “real concerns with the way that Netanyahu and his administration …have been prosecuting this war. …If Netanyahu was as committed to getting humanitarian aid to people in need as he is to killing people, that would be very helpful…We’re all searching for a way to stop the violence quickly.”
The House on Feb. 6 rejected a GOP-drafted bill to provide Israel with another round of military aid; it contained no humanitarian assistance desperately needed for civilians in Gaza.
Casten was among the no votes. “I voted against Israel for the first time in my congressional career.”
Ahmad was interviewed on Feb. 6, a few hours before the House took up that Israel aid measure. She was asked how she would vote on the bill since the Israel-Hamas war is one of her key issues. Ahmad had no answer because she said she was not aware of the bill.
Storms Possible After 60-Degree Temps In Chicago Area
ILLINOIS — The joy of temperatures soaring above 60 degrees Wednesday may come with the consequences of stormy weather after midnight.
Highs were forecasted to reach up to 64 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, with south to southwest winds gusting at up to 25 mph. As of 9:30 a.m., temperatures had already hit 50 degrees in the Chicago area.
The forecast called for a 40 to 60 percent chance of thunderstorms after 12 a.m. Thursday in the greater Chicago area, especially in areas south of I-80.
A wave of chillier weather is set to accompany the rainfall, with the mercury dipping after 8 p.m. and into Thursday morning.
Thursday calls for high temperatures of up to 58 degrees and lows in the mid to low 30s.
Despite a brief cooldown to start the weekend, highs are expected to again reach the upper 50s by Sunday, with temperatures in the 50s and 60s expected next week.
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