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Dold Democratic Challengers Make Case

Five diverse candidates explain why they have the best chance to win a seat in Congress.

All five Democrats vying in the March 20 primary to challenge see themselves as best able to unseat the freshman incumbent in the Nov. 6 general election. The contest promises to be one of the country’s most hotly contested races. 

Before Dold was sworn into office a year ago, the on the heels of his 5,000 vote victory over Dan Seals even though the area’s new boundaries were not drawn.

A few months later, , an organization dedicated to electing progressive women to office, declared its intention to defeat Dold as well.

In May, the Illinois General Assembly passed a placing Dold’s Kenilworth home in the 9th Congressional District of . Dold i where approximately 75 percent of his current constituents live.

Though the reconfigured district is considered slightly more Democratic than the old, it cannot be considered safe for either party. In 2010, both and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady won within the boundaries.

Though the five challengers have diverse backgrounds in business, law, community organizing and the military, they see their circumstances as the right ones to secure the Democratic nomination and become a member of Congress.

Challengers Backgrounds’ Differ

Two of the potential Democratic nominees, Deerfield management consultant and Long Grove business owner , come to the campaign with a business background like Dold. Tree is also a colonel in the United States Air Force reserve.

The other three Democratic contenders, Waukegan community organizer , Mundelein attorney and Hainesville mathematician bring different experience to the campaign.

Schneider and Tree dismiss Dold’s experience operating a 150-year-old family pest control business as one dimensional. They claim their exposure to companies large and small makes them more suited for the job. Tree also said his experience in commerce sets him apart from Schneider.

“My life experience makes me the best person to run against Dold. My military background, owning a business and working for large companies gives me broad experience. Dold has only run a small business,” Tree said. “I’ve actually run a business,” he added referring to Schneider’s work only as a consultant.

Schneider was quick to point out in 1997 he took over an insurance agency and ran it until 2003. “It was a turnaround. It was losing money and we made it profitable,” he said. “My experience is broader and deeper,” he added trying to distinguish himself from Dold.

Small Business Background Gives Dold Unique Perspective

Dold thinks the responsibilities he had operating a small business give him a unique perspective legislating to help solve the problems in today’s economy. He has continually spoken about the contribution of small business to the economy.

“Being responsible for the livelihoods of 100 families is an awesome responsibility. I know what it’s like to meet a budget and a payroll,” Dold said. “Two thirds of net new jobs come from small business.”

Sheyman thinks the work he has done as an organizer is exactly what a member of Congress does. He believes this experience best positions him to win a general election contest against Dold.

“I’m the only one in the race who has consistently advocated for middle class families on issues,” Sheyman said. “This is what the job is about. I will continue to advocate on behalf of the community.”

Bavda thinks his independence distinguishes him from Dold and his Democratic competitors as well as his work in both the public and private sectors.

“I’m willing to take political chances, provide solutions, and don’t rely on a group of cynical political consultants,” Bavda said. “I talk about substance while my competitors talk about politics.”

Rutagwibira also believes independence makes him best suited to give the 10th District its first Democratic representative in many years. He claims he is willing to make unpopular decisions if necessary.

“Making the right decision in the face of uncertainty is what separate leaders from managers,” Rutagwibira said. “Leaders take care of people, assume calculated risks, do not shy away from adopting policies which help people however unpopular and riskier the policies may be.”

RB January 10, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Getting the budget corrected will take sensible spending cuts and sensible revenue increases. Dold (by signing the Grover Norquist pledge) refuses to consider revenue increases. This country after 911 has engaged in two wars and increased security at great cost. That alone justified a tax increase for some. Mr. Bush decided to increase the debt to pay for it. Republicans have decided to ask those citizens least able to afford it to pay for it only through Federal spending cuts. An economic and social safety net is a backbone of our society and expecting that cutting out the safety net to pay for war is the way to go is not reasonable. Many people do need the assurance of a safety net. 'stuff' happens. Simple as that.
nsmom January 10, 2012 at 08:38 PM
SH - So tired of hearing Democratic candidates trashes as not being "pro-Israel" enough. They are all pro-Israel, as are the Republicans in the 10th, so can we turn that stuff off please? A key difference between Schneider and Sheyman is that Schneider has contributed to several Republcans and strongly supported Mark Kirk for at least 8 years. Stop the misleading insinuations please, it demeans you and your candidate. Gary - everyone who actually reads and pays attention knows the Laffer curve is just that. It's been touted by uninformed conservatives since Reagan and it has never, ever worked. "Trickle down" is a joke. Find other news sources beyond Fox.
Bringin' Down Briarwood January 10, 2012 at 09:56 PM
No pool of federal money?? Well, I appreciate your honesty that you don't know what you're talking about. Thank you for saving my time.
StandToReason January 10, 2012 at 09:57 PM
RB - If it is "simple as that" then how about providing some ballpark "sensible" figures? I realize that you probably haven't done the math yourself so feel free to use the numbers from an admired politician or economist. Now I'm no fan of Dold - not becuase he signed some non-binding pledge - but because he has violated his oath to the US Constitution (for example, voting Yes on the NDAA). And yes, wars are expensive - which is why the Constitution limits the declaration of war to Congress, not the whim of a President. Bush started two wars, Obama continued both and authorized military action (aka war) against 3 or 4 other countries and we continue to act as the world's policeman. And we all pay - not only in treasure but with the blood of our loved ones. As for the social "safety net" - what percentage of the population shall we deem eligible for this charity - 10%, 20%, 50%, more? From what I've seen, voluntary charity from the private sector is far more effective, efficient, and sustainable than any federal (and most state) programs. So my starting position for federal eligibility is 0% but I'm willing to negotiate...
RB January 11, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Relentless. I would add Social Security and Medicare to your 0% and I also would not call them charity. Let's see. Oh, I would add FEMA or similar programs....unless General Electric is coming in to clean up after Hurricanes. I would add programs that clean up contamination. Food assistance, unemployment compensation? Yep! If you think your 0% would put food on the table if by some chance you lost our job and did not have any savings built up, you're wrong...is General Electric going to fund this 'charity'? My point is simple. Wars cost money and to pull the money to pay for war from those that are in need of assistance is just wrong. Everyone should help pay for wars.

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