The 10th Congressional District will again be one of the most contentious in the United States.
The Democrats who've come close in recent years to winning the seat will have a contested primary. And with incumbent Mark Kirk not running for re-election, at least two Republicans will compete for the GOP nomination.
One of them formally announced at noon on Monday.
"I happen to come from a healthcare background," said State Rep. Elizabeth Coulson, (R). "My constituents want me there and that's why I'm here."
Coulson is a physical therapist by profession and so trained at it she was a medical school professor before being elected to the Illinois house nearly 13 years ago. Elizabeth Coulson, 54, say as a Republican candidate for the 10th Congressional District seat she will bring an experienced voice and measured approach to health care reform.
"We must make changes but we need to fix what needs to be fixed and not change the whole system," said Coulson.
The 10th Congressional District which includes Cook County's North Shore communities and Lake County has been represented since 2001 by Republican Mark Kirk who is now running for the United States Senate.
Last November, Kirk beat Democrat Dan Seals for a second time to retain the seat. Seals says he'll try again in 2010 but faces a stiff challenge for the nomination from State Representative Julie Hamos of Evanston.
"We're gonna raise the money necessary to win this race," said Dick Green.
Back on the Republican side, wealthy businessman Dick Green is primed to announce his candidacy within days. He donated money to Elizabeth Coulson in the past but says he does not believe she is fiscally conservative enough to tackle what green says is the nation's biggest challenge.
"I think job creation is the one issue for the country and the right now and for the next year," said Green.
But Coulson claims support from national as well as state party leaders and agreed that she is the frontrunner for the nomination, a title she'd rather not have.
"Because everybody takes pot shots at the front runner. But with that said, because I'm the only official elected official we know of, I have a feeling that's where I am," said Coulson.
Representative Coulson said she's not worried about raising money for primary.
Mr. Green, a multi-millionaire financial consultant, would not answer when asked if he planned on using his own money. He would only say that he'll have enough to run the race until the finish.
Both 10th district primary races could get very expensive by late winter if all the major candidates run to the end.