Mark Kirk is leaving that 10th District job to run for the U.S. Senate. Republican Robert Dold is taking on Democratic challenger Dan Seals for the congressional seat.
Democrat Dan Seals is the son of a former Chicago Bear and social worker. He was primarily raised by his mother in Hyde Park. The 39-year-old now lives in Wilmette.
Republican Robert Dold is a third generation resident of the district. The 41-year-old runs his family business, Rose Pest Solutions.
Seals is hoping to become the first Democrat to win the 10th District congressional race since Abner Mikva was elected in 1975. This is Seal's third try at the office.
"There should be no doubt that I'm committed to this position," said Seals.
Robert Dold is anxious to hold on to a seat Republicans have held for 30 years.
This is a race that both national political parties have poured thousands of dollars into.
"We need to hold on to the 10th District if we want to make sure change the course in Washington and that is what we want to do," said Dold. "
"While there has been a lot of coverage and interest nationwide at the end of the day it still comes back to issues that are most concerning to our community and that is where we ant to focus," said Seals.
The 10th District is made up of the northern suburbs. Voters are highly educated and have no problem voting for both parties on the same ballot, which is why Seals and Dold paint themselves as fiscal conservatives and social moderates. However, that is not the way each describes each other.
"He wants to restrict a woman's reproductive right, I want to protect them, he wants to weaken environmental policies, I want to strengthen them," said Seals.
When it comes to the economy, Dold accuses Seals of lacking ideas on how to fix it or create jobs. Dold supports putting a halt to stimulus spending and using the money for a payroll tax instead. The 41-year-old Kenilworth resident says his experience running his family's small business makes him more attractive to independent voters.
"I meet payroll, I meet a budget, I'm a job creator," said Dold.
Despite the economy as the number one issue, both candidates have sparred over social security. Seals accused Dold of wanting to privatize it, something Dold says he does not support.
"My opponent wants to make it much more of an issue because he can't talk about jobs and the economy," said Dold.
The sparing is likely to continue until Election Day. While a recent poll shows Seals ahead, Dold says his polling shows the opposite.
Voters have split their votes for the last three presidential elections, voting Democratic for president and Republican for Congress.