Crop of GOP candidates aim to unseat Melissa Bean

January 14, 2010 3:08:31 PM PST
Illinois Congresswoman Melissa Bean is serving her third term and is running unopposed as a Democrat for re-election in the 8th District. But there's no shortage of Republicans hoping to unseat her in the general election. Charles Thomas takes a look at who's on the ballot.The 8th stretches through much of the northern suburbs, including portions of Lake, McHenry and Cook counties. It's one of those recently-turned-Democrat "pale blue" districts the Republicans are trying to recapture during the recession.

Dirk Beveridge of Barrington is a business owner who calls himself a fiscal conservative. Cutting spending is his top priority.

"I will work for you to restore America's global leadership, by putting our country's economy back in the hands of hardworking Americans," Beveridge says in a YouTube video.

John Dawson is also from Barrington. He says he has been building businesses for most of his career and wants to attract international business to the 8th District.

"I'm focused on the economy. I've got the skill sets to fix the economy and I understand how to bring jobs back to the district," said Dawson.

Barrington-based Chris Geissler is a consultant at Chicago's Deloitte and Touche. He says his knack for helping companies scope out the root cause of problems in order to find a fix is exactly what Washington needs.

"You understand what goes on in health care and how the system works and recognizing that the people trying to solve the problem don't understand it. I couldn't help but wonder what else don't they understand that they're trying to solve?" said Geissler.

Melissa Rodriguez is the mayor of Long Grove. She wants to immediately attack the budget.

"From the hour we are sworn in, we need to make tracks towards reducing the spending, you know, put a freeze on the federal non-defense spending, pull it back at least 10 percent," said Rodriguez, (R) candidate for 8th Congressional District

Joe Walsh calls himself a "tea party conservative first -- a Republican second." The community college teacher and social worker told a crowd of constituents in Woodstock that he is running because he feels like he is "losing his country."

"I believe my job is to round up every fed up, frustrated, scared and angry person in the 8th, and it's the majority of people, and we're gonna do that in an energetic, out-of-the-box, spirited way. And once I go to Washington, I will not be the typical politician, because I'm not gonna be quiet," said Walsh.

Republican Gregory Jacobs is also a candidate. He is a military veteran who says he will make national security and veterans issues top priorities.

The Republicans will try their best to recapture those pale blue districts: the 8th, the 11th and the 14th in the suburbs and collar counties.