An open letter to Tonia Khouri and the residents of the 49th District
Last Friday, a mail piece in support of Tonia Khouri viciously and personally attacked me once again. This latest unwarranted characterization - questioning my charitable contributions - is appalling.
The mailer pictures me in a pink shirt during a walk for breast cancer awareness hosted by the Avon Foundation and the American Cancer Society.
I personally walked 26.2 miles and was proud to raise over $11,000 for breast cancer awareness. My purpose in this cause was never intended to be political, it was purely personal. My grandmother, great-grandmother, and 5 great aunts have all passed away from breast cancer. I did not get the chance to meet them because this disease denied me that opportunity.
As if mocking breast cancer awareness was not enough, they also minimize the importance of the #MeToo movement for victims of sexual harassment and assault. #MeToo encourages women and men who have been victimized to speak up, claim their power, and be heard. As a brother with two little sisters, we should be encouraging women to step up and be unafraid.
As a woman, a mother, a wife, and as a public figure, Tonia Khouri should be embarrassed. Sexual assault and harassment have no place in our world. This poor judgment and tastelessness does not have a place in politics.
This shameful misrepresentation of a noble cause is inexcusable. These personal attacks have nothing to do with Illinois’ future, nor does it serve to benefit our constituents. It also weakens our Republican Party.
I call on my opponent to apologize to every 49th district resident who has lived the heartbreak of a cancer diagnosis or who has experienced the trauma of sexual assault or harassment.