From the National Republican Congressional Committee….
Disrespecting the will of the voters, the DCCC went too far in their political gerrymandering efforts in Illinois and it has come back to haunt them. The self-proclaimed “center of gravity” in their bid to put Nancy Pelosi back in the Speaker’s chair, House Democrats had high hopes the Illinois map would produce a slew of Republican retirements and member vs. member primaries. The DCCC wrote in a memo to Illinois Democrats: “A critical part of the remapping process is altering the districts of incumbent Republicans to complicate their paths back to Washington.” But Republicans have ceded nothing, and thus far the only retirement in the state came from Democrat Jerry Costello, the leader of Illinois redistricting who drew himself into a competitive seat. To make matters worse, a number of the Democrats’ prized recruits decided to forgo congressional bids and their party is faced with less than desirable candidates in IL-12 and IL-13. While we are still waiting for the final vote totals in IL-13, it’s possible that the candidate Tim Johnson defeated in three previous elections could pull an upset over the DCCC’s fifth string candidate in this close race. In addition, the consequences of Democrats’ tax hike experiment are on full display in Illinois and the anger over the state’s fiscal crisis will surely be a factor come November. Illinois State Democrats passed a 66% tax increase last year. Since that point, Illinois has struggled in job creation and has experienced a precipitous decline in year-to-year home values. Make no mistake – Republicans are on the offensive in Illinois. Our Republican members are more invigorated than ever and will stop at nothing to fight against Washington’s big government policies that have made our economy worse.
IL-08: Rep. Joe Walsh, R vs. Tammy Duckworth, D
Joe Walsh gives Republicans the best opportunity to win the 8th district. Walsh has dedicated his life to service and has become one of the most outspoken advocates for limited government and private sector job creation. Passionate about many issues, Walsh has been particularly vocal in urging Congress to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment. On the other hand, failed politician Tammy Duckworth is coming out of a nasty Democrat primary that pitted different elements of the Chicago machine against each other. Duckworth’s tremendous national and local press attention wasn’t enough to earn her a victory in the 2006 Democrat wave and won’t be enough to carry her across the finish line come November.
Geography: PVI: D+5; Kirk 51%. The district covers the northern suburbs of Chicago, including portions of Cook, DuPage and Kane counties.
IL-10: Rep. Robert Dold, R vs. Brad Schneider, D
In 2010, Bob Dold quickly proved himself as a political force to be reckoned with as he currently represents the most Democratic district in the country held by a Republican Member. A small business owner, Dold has carried on the Mark Kirk tradition of being an independent voice for the hardworking families of suburban Chicago. As a member of the no labels “make congress work” campaign, Dold has made it clear he puts his constituents before partisanship. In fact, National Journal ranks Dold as one of the few members who is “closest to the ideological” center of Congress. Dold has also been recognized for his efforts to protect the environment and for his commitment to Israel’s long-term security. A Member of the House Republican Israel Caucus, Dold has visited the region several times in Congress.
Dold’s challenger Brad Schneider, comes off a bruising Democrat primary where he didn’t break 50% over a 25-year-old. Endorsed by Nancy Pelosi, Schneider’s support for her national energy tax won’t bode well for Illinois families who are already paying record-high gas prices. During his primary, Schneider said that he wouldn’t join the Blue Dog Coalition, signaling that he will be another partisan rubber-stamp in Congress. In addition, Schneider is going to have a lot of ground to make up against Bob Dold’s fundraising prowess and retail campaign skills. Dold has a cash advantage of over $1 million compared to Schneider, a significant gap in what is sure to be a costly race.
Geography: PVI: D+7; Kirk 54%. The district covers the northern suburbs of Chicago, including portions of Cook and Lake counties.
IL-11: Rep. Judy Biggert, R vs. Bill Foster, D
Judy Biggert has proven time and time again that she should not be underestimated. Leading the charge against the Democrats gerrymandered map, Biggert demonstrated to Illinois Democrats what her constituents have known all along – she is a fighter who will do what it takes to stop their big-government agenda that has made the economy worse. Voted by her peers as one of the ten most bi-partisan Republican members of the House, Judy is known for bringing members of both parties together to promote alternative energy technologies, U.S. competitiveness and to provide greater educational opportunities for homeless children. Outperforming McCain by nine points in 2008, Biggert will win a share of spilt-ticket voters. In addition, she also has the advantage of having 47% of her current constituents in her new district, compared to Bill Foster who has only represented about 26% of the new 11th.
Her Democrat opponent is failed politician Bill Foster. Foster must have missed the memo he received from Illinois families in 2010 when they rejected him for his massive spending plans, not to mention his vote to cut Medicare in order to fund his government takeover of healthcare. His job-destroying record will be a huge albatross around his neck for the next 8 months. Judy has $1.1 million COH and is well-positioned for victory here.
Geography: PVI: D+5; Kirk 49%. This suburban Chicago district covers parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will counties.
IL-13: Rep. Tim Johnson, R vs. David Gill/ Matt Goetten, D
It’s not surprising that Democrat’s saw their top choices decline bids against Tim Johnson. While we are still waiting for Macoupin county to finalize their election results, what is clear from this close primary is that Democrats don’t have a solid candidate that will be able defeat Johnson. Johnson, who is known for personally calling thousands of his constituents, is well-equipped for victory in this seat that Cook Political Report says “Leans Republican.” Johnson has a significant cash-on-hand advantage over both Gill and Goetten with $464k COH.
Geography: PVI: D+1; Kirk 55%. The district covers the western central area of Illinois, including portions of Greene, Champaign, Jersey, Madison, Montgomery, Christian, Macon, De Witt, and Piatt counties.
IL-17: Rep. Bobby Schilling, R vs. Cheri Bustos, D
As a pizzeria owner and union member, Bobby Schilling has been an effective voice for the people of western Illinois. Utilizing his real-world experience, Bobby has brought together Democrats and Republicans to promote new manufacturing jobs at the Rock Island Arsenal. Schilling’s experience of running a business and employing Illinoisans stands in stark contrast with the anointed Democrat nominee Cheri Bustos. Bustos has a disturbing record of supporting higher taxes and job-destroying fees that have hampered job growth in Illinois. As a politician on the East Moline City Council, Bustos voted to raise fees on families and fund wasteful pet projects including a $40,000 welcome sign. Further, Bustos supports the Democrats’ government takeover of healthcare that cuts Medicare and puts government bureaucrats in between patients and doctors.
In 2010, Republicans Mark Kirk and Bill Brady won this district with 53% of the vote. The new IL-17 has bipartisan representation at the state level: 8 of the 10 state Representatives and 3 of the 4 state Senators in the district are Republicans. Schilling’s base has actually increased with 12,000 more Republican primary voters than the old IL-17.
Geography: PVI: D+6; Kirk 53%. The district covers northwestern Illinois with potions of Jo Daviess, Winnebago, Carroll, Whiteside, Henderson, Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, Warren, Knox and Fulton counties.
IL-12: Jason Plummer, R vs. Brad Harriman, D
Democrat Jerry Costello’s retirement was another blow to Democrats’ hopes and dreams for Illinois. Now they have to spend resources to defend this working-class southwest district that is trending more and more Republican and identifies more with rural Missouri than Obama’s home state. National Journal said recently about the district, “it’s the type of blue-collar, socially conservative area that has increasingly given Democrats trouble lately.” Yet again, Democrats struggled to find a credible candidate to run, with a “whole string” of candidates turning down the chance to fill the seat that the Cook Political Report rates as a “Toss Up.”
Republicans nominated Jason Plummer, a community leader and businessman who is well positioned to defeat Democrat Brad Harriman in November. Plummer has high name identification following his campaign for Lt. Governor in 2010, running as a team with Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Brady. Plummer serves as Vice President of Corporate Development at R.P. Lumber Company, a family-owned and operated business that, along with other Plummer family businesses, is involved in creating and maintaining more than 1,000 quality jobs. Plummer is also an intelligence officer with the Naval Reserves and serves at Scott Air Force Base, which is the largest employer in the 12th District.
The uninspiring Democrat candidate Brad Harriman has had a string of recent professional failures. His fellow Democrat Governor Pat Quinn thought so much of the job Harriman was doing as a Regional Superintendent, he vetoed his position, placing Harriman into retirement. Plummer is well equipped to repeat his 2010 victory in this district as the Lt. Governor nominee.
Geography: PVI: D+2; Kirk 51%. This southwest district covers parts of Madison county, and all of Alexander, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Monroe, Perry, Pulaski, Randolph, St.Clair, Union and Williamson counties.
The following are the unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary election in Illinois. These results are unofficial and incomplete.
IL-08 – DEM Primary
Tammy Duckworth* 67%
Raja Krishnamoorthi 33%
IL-10 – DEM Primary
Ilya Sheyman 39%
Brad Schneider* 47%
John Tree 9%
Vivek Bavka 6%
IL-11 – DEM Primary
Bill Foster* 59%
Juan Thomas 25%
Jim Hickey 16%
IL-12 – GOP Primary
Jason Plummer* 56%
Rodger Cook 36%
Theresa Kormos 8%
IL-13 – GOP Primary
Tim Johnson* 69%
Michael Firsching 13%
Frank Metzger 18%
IL-13 – DEM Primary
David Gill 52%
Matthew Goetten 48%
IL-17 – DEM Primary
Cheri Bustos* 58%
George Gaulrapp 21%
Greg Aguilar 21%
*Indicates Winner determined by AP