Election 2010 – Illinois’ 8th District
Joe Walsh – 16,015 (34%)
Dirk Beveridge – 11,577 (25%)
Maria Rodriguez – 9,719 (21%)
Christopher Geissler – 4,232 (9%)
John Dawson – 3,887 (8%)
Gregory Jacobs – 1,437 (3%)
Republicans are salivating at the upcoming midterm elections. With such a vast Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and polls indicating growing discontent with incumbents, there is no shortage of challengers hoping to take down sitting Members of Congress in November.
The district itself is the definition of a swing district. Leaning ever so slightly to the Republicans in the Cook Partisan Voting Index, it voted for President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, but went for Illinois native Barack Obama in 2008. Incumbent Melissa Bean will be hoping that this trend in recent years towards Democrats in the district, which covers north-of-Chicago suburbs and runs all the way up to the border with Wisconsin.
Melissa Bean was elected in 2004 over Phil Crane, who had served this district from 1969 until his defeat. She ran far ahead of Democrats in the district, as President Bush carried the district by 12 points in the same year. Known as a key moderate Democrat, Bean is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition of centrists and has voted against her party on key bills. To visit her campaign website, click here.
In a surprise to those of us not closely tuned into this race, Joe Walsh, a teacher and a small government activist, won the primary over 5 other Republican candidates. Though there were two candidates with institutional support, Walsh tapped into local populist anger and the Tea Party movement and won handily. He promotes strong conservative and small government values on his website, which can be found here.