Republican Robert Dold and Democrat Dan Seals are seeking the seat being vacated by Mark Kirk. The two held a debate Tuesday.
39-year-old Dan Seals of Wilmette is hoping that the third time is the charm. Seals ran and lost twice in the 10th District against Kirk. Dold, 41, is a small business owner from Kenilworth.
"I'm a fiscal conservative; I'm a social moderate," said Dold. "I do believe in strong defense."
"There are some big differences between us, so when my opponent wants to restrict a woman's right to choose, I want to protect it," said Seals. "My opponent wants to weaken environmental regulations; I want to strengthen them."
While they touted real differences, some observers at the debate held by the American Association of Retired Persons were having trouble remembering which party each belonged to, citing the number of times the two seemed to agree with each other.
The candidates agreed not to raise taxes, to do something about Medicare fraud, and to help small businesses move the economy forward.
They differed on Social Security, with Seals insisting that Dold wants to privatize it, and Dold disputing that assertion. Both had different ideas on how to keep Social Security solvent for the long haul.
"If we have to make adjustments, I would look to the wealthiest Americans to receive a smaller payout, simply because millionaires don't need the same that someone making $25,000 or $30,000 a year would require," said Seals.
"I would be in favor - at least looking at it, at going back and drawing a line in the sand and saying for those maybe 54 and younger, we need to gradually raise the age," said Dold.
Dold and Seals will face off Wednesday night in a debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters.
The 10th District is a large district that includes the northern suburbs and portions of Lake and Cook counties. The area traditionally is an independent district.