Julie Hamos enters 10th District race

July 28, 2009 4:30:15 PM PDT
Illinois State Representative Julie Hamos is looking for a new job.The Evanston Democrat announced Tuesday she's running for Congress in the 10th Congressional District. That seat is being vacated by Republican Mark Kirk, who will make a run for the U.S. Senate.

There appears to be a hotly contested race brewing for the North Shore's district.

The seat has been held by Republicans for 30 years. To turn it blue, the Democrats first will have to endure what could be a tough primary fight.

"I am so proud to be standing before you to announce my candidacy for congress in the 10th congressional district," Hamos said.

Surrounded by supporters, many from outside the 10th district, Hamos made it official: she will run for the seat held since 2001 by Kirk.

Only a few weeks ago, Democrat Hamos was quietly campaigning for State Attorney General, until incumbent Lisa Madigan said that she would run for another term.

"The position is not the key. The key is an opportunity to be a policymaker and to be an advocate and emphasize strong leadership," Hamos said.

Hamos will face Dan Seals of Wilmette in the Democratic primary. Seals lost close races to Kirk in the 2006 and 2008 general elections.

"I know the district well, the district knows me well, and I want to continue making the argument for the communities and families," Seals said.

Hamos says she's already raised over $200,000 for the campaign, and she will need it to counter Seals' wider name recognition.

Another possible candidate is State Senator Michael Bond of Grayslake, who says "what others decide to do in this race will have no impact on my decision."

While not a requirement to run, neither Hamos, Seals nor Bond lives within the boundaries of the 10th congressional district.

"People care more about my stance on the issues than whether or not I live a block inside or outside of what really is a gerrymandered district," said Seals.

Hamos promises to move from Evanston into the district as soon as possible.

"It's a statement of my loyalty and commitment to the 10th district," Hamos said.

The Republicans considering a run include State Representative Beth Coulson of Glenview and businessmen Dick Green and William Strong. A Republican spokesman reported this morning that all those possible candidates do live in the 10th Congressional District.

The constitutional requirement is only that a member of Congress live in the state he or she represents, but it can become an issue when a candidate does not live in the district.

Charles has more on the political beat in his Precinct 7 Blog.


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