PI Original Aricka Flowers Tuesday September 7th, 2010, 1:54pm

Is The Third Time A Charm For Seals? (VIDEO)

With Republicans set to make big gains in the U.S. House this November, Democrats need to win a handful of open seats if they have any hope of maintaining their majority. Illinois' 10th Congressional District will be a key seat in that battle. We sat down with the Democratic nominee Dan Seals and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) to talk politics and the importance of a win along the North Shore.

With Republicans set to make big gains in the U.S. House this November, Democrats need to win a handful of open seats if they have any hope of maintaining their majority. Illinois' 10th Congressional District will be a key seat in that battle.

Democratic 10th Congressional District nominee Dan Seals got a boost last week when U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) visited Northbrook to meet with the candidate and tour the KJ Cafe at the Bernard Weinger Jewish Community Center (JCC), which provides jobs to young adults with developmental disabilities. We were able to sit down with the two politicians to discuss some of the most pressing issues for Illinoisans and the political challenges facing Seals and the Democratic party this election cycle.

This is Seals' third run at U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk's seat. With Kirk running for a higher office, the district will boast a new representative for the first time since 2001. Wasserman Schultz says the Illinois 10th is a critical race for Democrats nationally:

The 10th Congressional District includes both affluent areas and those that have struggled considerably since the economic downturn. Seals says he would use issues like the education achievement gap and rising cost of higher education to unify and address the needs of every constituent in the district: 

In July, Mark Kirk re-pledged his support for a push to repeal the Obama Administration's health care reform law. Seals and Wasserman Schultz, herself a cancer survivor, argued that such a move fails to represent the needs of both the 10th Congressional District and the nation as a whole. If elected, Seals says he would support making improvements to the plan for health care reform but would not back any efforts to repeal the law:

When it comes to making a decision between Seals and Republican nominee Robert Dold, who has very little name recognition in the North Suburbs, the Democratic candidate says he should be the voters' clear choice. Seals points to his endorsements to show why he is a better representative for the people of the 10th Congressional District.

Gay rights continues to be an issue at both the local and federal level. Although his would-be predecessor failed to support full marriage rights, Seals says he would support any piece of legislation that would allow everyone the right to marry whomever they choose. He pointed to his own marriage and upbringing to illustrate why he would support legislation allowing such unions:

On other progressive issues like the environment and a woman's right to choose, Seals says he would fully support any initiatives that would be socially responsible.

Perhaps the third time will be the charm for Seals, who has been nothing but persistent in his drive to represent the 10th District. Voters will have to decide if the business consultant and Northwestern University lecturer has the chops to represent them in Congress.

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