Veteran reporter Steve Sadin of The Patch has been doing a great job lately on keeping an eye on local affairs in the 10th District and Lake County, and he posted a nice update on the 10th District race from the Dem side, now that petition filing is getting close to closing.
As Sadin notes, so far, it seems that incumbent Congressman Bob Dold has not drawn a GOP opponent. We have not heard anything on the street about any credible candidate sticking his or her neck up to discuss a possible run, to say nothing of actually circulating petitions (I'm sure we would have heard about that), so I think it's safe to say that Dold will run unopposed. I suspect his million-dollar-plus warchest probably also had something to do with dampening the enthusiasm of any potential Republican competition.
Not so on the Dem side, as in addition to the candidates we've been talking about over the past few months, Sadin notes that yet another one has filed petitions (Aloys Rutagwibira of Hainesville), for a grand total of five Dem primary hopefuls: Rutagwibira, progressive activist and organizer Ilya Sheyman of Waukegan, Deerfield management consultant Brad Schneider, air force reservist and businessman John Tree of Long Grove, and Mundelein attorney Vivek Bavda.
Assuming that all of the Dem candidates survive any petition challenges and that they all stick it out (the Dems in the 10th have had a history of not shying away from contested primaries), it will be interesting to see how having so many candidates on the ballot will effect the race. I think at this point, our view is that Ilya Sheyman is the likely beneficiary, as he seems to be the most organized and have the best boots-on-the-ground campaign team (as well as having been in the race the longest). Both Tree and Schneider will have to rely on spending money to buy help and name recognition. The other two, well, lots of people run for Congress for lots of reasons, and it's not always to actually win.
Stay tuned campers, it's about to get very interesting.
UPDATED: Today, Crain's blogger Greg Hinz dishes on several congressional races and implies that the 10th is not the red-hot pick-up prospect that the Dems planned for, largely due to the failure of the Democrats to recruit a top-level contender to battle Bob Dold. Hinz's take:
Mr. Obama's popularity also will be a factor in the north suburban 10th Congressional District.
GOP incumbent Bob Dold, a sometimes-moderate in an increasingly conservative Republican Party, on paper is vulnerable. But his stock has risen among GOP pros, and Democrats oddly were unable to recruit any of several state lawmakers who would have been instant favorites in the 10th.
We'll see who wins the Democratic primary: contenders Brad Schneider, Ilya Sheyman and John Tree all have a shot. Then we'll see if Mr. Dold really can convince voters he's been reborn in the mold of John Edward Porter or Mark Kirk, the district's prior two moderate GOP congressman.