10th District is key battleground in mid-term election

August 20, 2010 (MT. PROSPECT, Ill.)

For the third cycle in a row, Democrats and Republicans around the country are watching the congressional race in Chicago's northern suburbs. The contest for the soon-to-be-open seat involves a familiar name and a political newcomer.

Robert Dold is a 41-year-old exterminating company owner and a Republican candidate to replace Congressman Mark Kirk in the north suburban 10th District. He says he is running for the sake of generations to come.

"We certainly know that in generations past they sacrificed so the next generation could stand on their shoulders and have a better life," said Dold.

Dold's opponent is 39-year-old Dan Seals, a business consultant, who lost elections to Kirk in 2006 and 2008.

"I tell you what hasn't changed, is my commitment to the community and to service is something I obviously believe in," Seals said.

The 10th District race has attracted national attention and money. Republicans are trying to keep the seat they have held for the past 30 years. While Democrats believe they can win the district to help offset November losses they expect elsewhere in the country.

Seals told ABC 7 Dold is too rightwing for the moderate-to-liberal 10th.

"We have a very different opponent, one that wants to restrict a woman's right to choice, backs the Bush plan to privatize Social Security and is backed by the Tea Party," said Seals

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"I'm a fiscal conservative. I'm a social moderate" Dold said.

"When Planned Parenthood says that he refuses to even meet with them, that tells me that he's out of line with the district. The Tea Party has an endorsement that Mark Kirk probably never would have taken," said Seals.

"I'm pro-choice, right in line with John Porter and Mark Kirk, who's ably represented the 10th District for many years between the two of them," said Dold.

Friday morning, Dold toured a small business. He says his own experience as the boss of 100 employees will serve him well in Washington.

"I'm an employer. I employ people, and frankly that one's of my passions and one of the things I think will make a difference," said Dold.

Seals says he is also cheerleader for small business, and to help, he promises more federal pressure on the banking system.

"What small businesses are telling me is that they can't get a line of credit. So one that we got to do is get money in the hands of community banks so that it can be lent out to small business," Seals said.

By virtue of his two earlier races, Seals admits he does have an advantage because of residual name recognition.

But all the so-called "down-ballot" candidates this year are concerned about the lack of excitement generated by the candidates at the top of the tickets. How will that affect voter turnout?

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