Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

14th District Getting Crowded

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Daily Herald has a good article about the likelihood that Rep. Joe Walsh will move over to Rep. Randy Hultgren’s 14th District and challenge him in the Republican primary.

    Both congressmen currently represent about a third of the district, which was designed as a “vote sink” by Democratic mapmakers attempting to crowd as many Republicans as possible into a single suburban district.

    As the newspaper notes, both men are Tea Party conservatives who agree on most issues. The difference is in style: “Walsh’s outspoken manner has catapulted him into the national spotlight in the first year of his first term. Hultgren, a quiet, spiritual father of four, is by far the less flashy of the two freshmen.”

    Hultgren seems uncomfortable attacking Walsh personally, but compares his phlegmatic approach to his rival’s stemwinding by telling the paper, “I think some people are always confrontational. Others, there’s an ability to talk, listen, work with each other without compromising core values.”

    A poster at Daily Kos analyzed the race, and is giving Walsh the edge:

    Congressman Hultgren has 30,000 more constituents in the seat, neither Congressman is entrenched, and this primary could go either way. Congressman Joe Walsh, however, should be favored. The Tea Party favorite Walsh had a strong fundraising quarter, far stronger than Hultgrens. Rep Walsh also hosts more constituent events than any other of the 435 Members of Congress. He has a lot of name recognition in his district, far better than any other freshman Rep in Illinois. Congressman Walsh also is a tireless campaigner, and gives a very dynamic stump speech, as compared to the slightly boring, yet very smart Hultgren, a former State Senator and favorite of the establishment.


    Meanwhile, although Republican primary will probably determine the next congressman,  former McHenry Alderman Frank McClatchey announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination.

    “Joe Walsh is the Congressman in the district now, and I know that constituents can do better in the newly drawn 14th,” said McClatchey, who has served as the small business coordinator for the Illinois office of the U.S. Senate, was the consumer advocate for the Chicago office of the Illinois Attorney General. “I will bring my voice and experience to Washington, not just a ‘no’ vote, as is the practice of Tea Party head Joe Walsh.”

    Walsh is not the congressman for the 14th District, but he's obviously the congressman McClatchey wants to run against.

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