|Birth||24 June 1987 (Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, U.S.A.)|
Omar Aquino (born June 24, 1987) is a Democratic member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 2nd district. He was elected in the March 2016 Democratic Primary and appointed to the seat effective July 1, 2016 following the retirement of William Delgado. At age 29, he is the youngest-ever Latino member of the Illinois State Senate and one of the youngest state senators in Illinois history. Previously, he served as an aide to Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth.
Early life and career
Aquino was born and raised on the Northwest Side of Chicago. Of Puerto Rican descent, both of his parents were public workers, his mother working for the Chicago Public Schools and his father for the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation. Aquino graduated from Lincoln Park High School and Loyola University Chicago with degrees in Criminal Justice and Sociology.
Aquino worked as a bilingual case manager with the Illinois Department on Aging, serving low income elderly clients in Chicago as part of the Community Care Program. He went on to serve as a Legislative Aide in the Illinois House of Representatives, and most recently as an Outreach Coordinator for Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth.
2015 Aldermanic Campaign
Chicago conducted redistricting following the 2010 census, and a new Latino ward was created, the 36th Ward. Aquino decided to run for this open seat in the Chicago aldermanic elections, 2015. While he received the largest number of votes in the February election, there was an April runoff between Aquino and Gilbert Villegas. Aquino lost the election to Villegas by 938 votes.
Aquino announced in January 2016 he was running for the 2nd District State Senate seat that was being vacated by William Delgado. He ran with the endorsement of Delgado himself, most of the committeemen and elected officials in the district, as well as many labor and progressive groups including the Chicago Teachers Union and Service Employees International Union. He won the March 2016 primary against Noble Network of Charter Schools employee Angelica Alfaro by a 53% to 47% margin. As Delgado decided to retire from the seat early, Aquino was appointed to the seat effective July 1, 2016.