Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bob Dold Gears up For 10th District Race

In the latest (but not last?) of our profiles on GOP 10th Congressional District candidates, we offer some info on businessman Robert "Bob" Dold, a lifelong 10th District resident and family man. I finally caught up with Dold for coffee this morning and got to hear some interesting bits about his past, and more about why he's running in this fairly crowded race.

40-year-old Dold grew up in Winnetka, and attended New Trier High School (like Mark Kirk). He went to Denison University in Ohio (not Iowa as I originally posted) and then worked in the Bush I White House mostly for VP Dan Quayle as an advance man, which means he was involved with setting up logistics for official (and also campaign) events. He also holds a JD from Indiana University and an MBA from Kellogg Business School at Northwestern.

Dold now lives in Kenilworth with his wife and three kids. We bonded a bit sharing stories of our experiences as Cub Scout den/pack leaders (Dold is an Eagle Scout), which is a great way to connect with and guide kids on their journey to adulthood.

Dold has spent the last six years working for the family business, Rose Pest Solutions, which is the oldest pest control company in the U.S. - in existence since before 1860. Dold will rely on his business experience to bolster his credentials for IL-10, and understands that the economy, jobs and spending issues will most likely continue to dominate the nation's attention, even after the debate over health care subsides once Congress takes action (of some kind, but it's clear that Obama can't afford to let this debate rage). According to Dold's press info,

As a small business owner and operator Bob knows the demands that have been placed on the backs of small businesses around our country by the ever-growing demands of Washington. Small and mid-size businesses have been the foundation of America’s job growth and economic prosperity. Bob firmly believes that the voice of small business needs additional representation in Washington. He personally knows the incremental demands that have been put on the small business owners as they try to maintain jobs while dealing with the downturn of the economy and the rising costs of health care. It is this concern and his concern for the future direction of our economy, which has driven Bob’s desire to seek to represent the 10th Congressional District.

Despite Dold's extensive education and Washington experience, he seemed like a pretty humble guy, and said that as a candidate, and then an elected official, "one must always keep in mind that you're working for the people of the District... many people lose sight of that fact in Washington today."

We talked quite a bit about how the race was shaping up, and it's clear that Dold must first differentiate himself from the other two male candidates, businessman Dick Green and attorney Bill Cadigan, each of whom tout some combination of pro-business platform and smarts. Then the issue will be, why that candidate and not State Rep. Beth Coulson, whom many people see as the current front-runner, as she is the only elected official currently in the race.

As Dold put it, the simple question the voters of the 10th District will have to ask themselves is, who best represents the values and principles of the people of the 10th? As someone who was born and raised here, Dold thinks he's that candidate, but it's "not a glorious thing for me" to run. For Dold, it's about serving the people, he says.

To get the chance to serve, though, he needs to get that message out, and encourage his supporters to the polls in chilly February. It's a tall order, but Dold thinks he's up to the challenge.


Anonymous said...

looks good, but denison is in ohio.


Team America said...

Oh, really? I thought that didn't make much sense, since I went to school at Augustana in Rock Island and thought I knew all the Iowa schools, but it sounded like he said Iowa. Must not've had enough coffee. I'll fix that.

Anonymous said...

without giving an endorsement, which of him, green, coulson and cadigan impresses you the most? And how much can this guy self fund?

Fan of King Louis Astaves the Ellen Slayer

Anonymous said...


Great photo of Dold.

Anonymous said...

fundraising numbers will tell us a lot, especially since we know pup and hamos the hog can rake in dough. Cadigan's been out of it for 20 years and mark had trouble raising money in his primary, and that was with the porter endorsement.

I also found it very unusual that cadigan supported damisch over mark in 2000, in the fec report, an interesting development, considering he worked with mark for porter-perhaps a rivalry.

TA, I was looking for your general comparisons and assessments. Not leaning one way or the other but, i.e. cadigan seems more fluent in ideas or green doesn't have a good organization or I like dold's message better. Or this candidate couldn't rouse a dog.


Anonymous said...

Many Kirk supporters and donors are lining up with Dold. Kirk's campaign finance chairman is 100% behind Dold. Bob also hired Kirk's 2008 field director so he should be able to get a good ground game going asap.

Anonymous said...

i think it will be hard for him to fair well in such a competitive primary when his only real world experience is working for his folks. i also heard that their company has had issues with the EPA which could destroy him in such an environmentally conscious district. but if he has kirk's finance chair on board he might have a shot.

Anonymous said...

Hard to believe that Kirk's current finance chair would have time for anything other than raising money for what will be a huge task raising money to defeat any Democrat in 2010. Time will tell, but only after the Primary in February. New, fresh faces and ideas are always welcome in the 10th district.

Kemper Hoyt said...

That was a really fair piece on Dold. I also think it's unfair to say that his only real world experience has been working for his parents, when a) he runs the company and b) he has spent the past 20 years organizing field operations for a host of GOP candidates at all levels.

Oh, and to clear up another mis-conception, Bob Dold isn't in a position to write himself a check for 5 million like some others in the race...he is going to have to raise money through home-grown, grassroots networks.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call advance work extensive d.c. experience. Advancemen are volunteers who show up in a town and coordinate logistics. There's no policy or communications work involved. Most aren't official staffers.

The EPA thing needs to be fully vetted, that's the kind of thing that's lethal in a general for a republican-you don't want a candidate with dead animals on t.v. If I were team dold I also wouldn't call his experience bush white house experience-those aren't the most popular 4 letters on the north shore.

I wouldn't mention that the guy doesn't have money or how much he has to drop in, that's usually pretty closely guarded campaign information. The problem for dold is that green can self fund, and coulson has years of special interest connections, where's his money going to come from-quayle's been out of politics for 20 years and it's not like dold was his special assistant with a desk right outside his office?


Anonymous said...

Seems like a fresh face for sure. We will need to see him prove himself alongside the others. Only time will tell.

Its unfortunate that we have a current field with a democrat, Coulsen, running against a millionaire who made money selling into the speculators on Wall Street, Green. Forget the EPA, how about making money on the guys who brought down our economy. The dems would rip him apart in the General. Yikes!

Special interests versus Wall Street millionaire. Seems like the middle ground is open for someone.

Anonymous said...

Have to mention a quick story...

I have a good friend who's known Dold since high school. We were at dinner the other night and the subject came up, as my sister used to work for Mark Kirk. When I asked him about Dold, he told me a lot about him...The upshot is, he said Dold is one of the most honest and decent guys he knows.

For what it's worth....

Anonymous said...

I was driving through Highland Park around 6 pm and noticed that on Greenbay Road about 12 Dan Seals signs were put up at residents homes. I think Seals is going to have a good chance at pulling off a win in the primary. His grassroots organizing skills have gotten very good over the past 4 years. This Seals/Hamos race is going to be fun to watch.

Anonymous said...

Make no mistake a massive civil war is being fought between pup and hamos. I can feel the fresh musket fire. comrade Jan doesn't want Dan, he burned her, ruined her reputation that she couldn't beat ol mark while her collegues were ending pro-lifers careers in red america. Julie is working her ellen off right now to to lock up d.c. money-we'll see if they want a tired old hag-doubt it. For my end it will be interesting to see if the dems drop another 2 million into this district. Unlike 06 and 08 they have a TON of members to protect in red america. DCCC Money always goes first to incumbents then to challengers.

I say grab some popcorn and a cold chimay and let the donkey blood flow in the mean streets of st.johns and sheridan!


Anonymous said...

The Dem side of this "race" is so weird. Hard to figure why Hamos entered this race when she's not really doing anything to challenge Seals. (not that HE"S doing much, but I guess he's the 10th Dem default mode at this point??) Meanwhile, it looks to be a nice range of choice on the Republican side with a lot more going on. Thank goodness.

Anonymous said...

Worked for Dan Quayle and George Bush? Works for Mommie's pest control business in constant trouble with the EPA? Never run for anything in his life? The Dems would crush this guy like a grape. He can't be too active in the party; I've never heard of him.On February 2nd we'll see how bad the GOP wants to win this seat.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like by "how bad the GOP wants this seat" you imply the GOP needs to sell out its values or back an enabler of Bernie Madoff who is trying to buy the seat.

Anonymous said...

I worked with Bob about 16 years ago. I just found out he's running. And while some folks who've posted comments won't believe or care because of party label, I can say that back then he was a nice guy, an honest guy and sure acted like a leader. We could use more of that in Congress.

This will give away how I knew Bob, but the description of advance work in the comment a little bit above is not really accurate. It's so much more than logistics. Advance work is diplomacy on a deadline.

In order to do it well, you have to be a smart, pragmatic problem-solver with excellent communication and negotiation skills.

Sounds just like the skills you'd want to have in the next Congressman from Illinois 10.

Anonymous said...

I've known Bob for a long time, and through 20+ years, have seen him built a enormous network of friends. He's well liked, and more importantly well-respected, by everyone who knows him. As the campaign unfolds, we'll hear stories about integrity, humility, compassion and commitment to public service, traits that defined Bob as long ago as high school. Bob's challenge will be to leverage this favorable reputation into votes by convincing the 10th district that he can be an influential advocate in Washington on issues of critical importance--jobs, education, fiscal responsibility and security. I hope, and expect, that Bob will be convincing in his articulation of a robust, disciplined and intellectually-conservative framework, formed as an eagle scout in the Reagan years and matured as George H.W. Bush republican, small business CEO and devoted husband, father and friend. He's a natural leader. He'll make the choices that allow America to live within its means, compassionately. We'd be well-served to support him in February and November.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I'm a lifelong Democrat who has never pulled the lever for a Republican. That said, I got to know Bob in grad school and think he is one of the most honest, straightforward and genuinely caring people I've ever met. Despite our obvious political differences, I have incredible respect for him and, if I lived in his district, would vote for him in a heartbeat.