Democratic candidates vying for a chance to run for congress in Illinois’ 10th congressional district say it’s time for first-term U.S. Rep. Bob Dold (R-Kenilworth) to go.
Democratic candidates vying for a chance to run for congress in
Illinois’ 10th congressional district say it’s time for first-term U.S. Rep. Bob Dold
(R-Kenilworth) to go.
Of the five Democrats hoping to run against Dold in November’s general election, three candidates are pulling ahead: Brad Schneider of Deerfield; Ilya Sheyman of Waukegan; and John Tree of Long Grove.
Preliminary polls show Schneider and self-described progressive Sheyman fighting for the top spot.
Vivek Bavda of Mundeline will also appear on the March 20 primary ballot, and Aloys Rutagwibira of Hainesville is a write-in candidate.
Dold, who’s held the congressional seat for a little more than a year, claims he’s a moderate, said Sheyman, a community organizer and former national Mobilization Director for MoveOn.org.
But, Sheyman said, vote after vote—from the Republican “Ryan Budget” to the defunding of Planned Parenthood—Dold has voted with the far right.
That’s “detrimental to the needs of the 10th District,” he said.
The 10th congressional district incorporates portions of the northern suburbs of Chicago in Cook and Lake Counties.
“Dold is already waffling on issues like choice and the environment,” said candidate Schneider, a management consultant.
“But he has yet to introduce any jobs legislation to address the real problems facing this country.”
And it’s not only the Democratic candidates upset with Dold’s performance in Washington.
“Dold has talked a good game to the district's voters,” said Rob Nesvacil, president of the Wheeling Township Democrats, who endorsed Tree last month.
“His radically conservative record of voting with the Tea Party more than 80 percent of the time proves he's just talking out of both sides of his mouth.”
Democratic voters in the district are looking for someone who can defeat Dold, said candidate Tree, a U.S. Air Force Reserve Colonel and business executive.
“They want to win,” he said. “We haven’t had a democrat in the seat since 1979.”
The unifying desire to replace Dold within the party isn’t stopping some of the candidates from taking jabs at each other, however.
Sheyman said he questions Schneider’s previous donations to various lawmakers including former Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah who “has every step of the way fought against our progressive values.”
Schneider responded that all his political contributions are public and available to anyone on the Federal Election Commission’s website.
“I have made contributions to a large number of candidates, 90 percent of which are to Democrats,” Schneider said. “One hundred percent of my contributions are in the context of a candidate's support of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.”
Bringing jobs to Illinois
The unemployment rate in parts of the 10th District is as high as 19 percent, Sheyman said.
He wants to create a national green jobs bank that will offer loans directly to small businesses along with tax credits for small businesses already looking to hire, among other programs.
“I think the government has to step in and hire people to do things like repair bridges and build classrooms,” Sheyman said, who has been endorsed by AFSCME Local 31 and the Illinois Federation of Teachers.
On the other hand, Schneider said he’ll use his “lifetime of experience to make sure Congress is working with private companies to create the jobs that will help rebuild America’s middle class.”
Tree stressed the importance of investing in education, among other strategies, to make America’s workforce more competitive.
“Why can’t we get jobs in the U.S.?” Tree said. “The workforce (overseas) is better educated.”
Improving the economy
If elected, Tree will improve America’s roads and bridges along with protecting promises the government has already made such as Social Security, Medicaid, and veteran's benefits.
Republicans don’t want to raise taxes, Tree said, and “that takes a whole pool off the table that would help fix the economy.”
“(Republicans) try to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class,” he said.
Schneider said he wants small and medium businesses to receive tax incentives for increasing American-made exports.
And Sheyman, who has been touted as the most progressive of the 10th congressional district candidates, said he’ll push for a federal jobs bill, among other efforts.
Cleaning up the environment
Barbara Kipp, co-founder of Incinerator Free Lake County, which held a sustainability forum last week with the top congressional candidates, said her group wants a congressman who will invest in renewable energy for the 10th District.
All three candidates said green jobs and renewable energy were top concerns, along with fighting for continued funding for the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Unless we become more sustainable, we are stealing from our kids’ futures,” Tree said.
Congressman Dold did not respond to Progress Illinois’ request for an interview.