Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Republican Exploring Campaign for Walsh's Seat

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Oops. When the Democrats in Springfield drew a new 8th Congressional District, they tried to draw the boundaries to exclude every Republican officeholder in the western suburbs. They eliminated the district’s incumbent, Rep. Joe Walsh, who now lives in the neighboring 14th District. But apparently, they missed someone.

    According to the Illinois Review, Assistant DuPage County State’s Attorney Rick Veenstra has announced he’s “exploring” a campaign for Congress.

    As a life-long resident of the western suburbs, I’ve always cherished the quality of life and the sense of community that we enjoy here. A few months ago, a Congressional campaign was the furthest thing from my mind. Recent events in Washington have changed that. If there’s any lesson that our elected representatives should have learned from the last two elections, it is that people are tired of business as usual and want leaders who will go to Washington to solve problems rather than create more of them.

    So far, the only announced candidates in the 8th District are Tammy Duckworth, a former Assistant Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, and Raja Krishnamoorthi, a former Illinois Assistant Attorney General. Veenstra would be the first Republican to contest what’s been designed as a Democratic-leaning district. Walsh has not yet decided whether to run in the 8th District or the 14th District.

    Here’s Veenstra’s resume, from his LinkedIn page:

    Presently assigned as Deputy Chief of the Civil Bureau, Community Affairs Division, in Illinois’ second largest county-based prosecutor’s office; responsible for monitoring state government legislation impacting the criminal justice system; develop and draft, in consultation with the State’s Attorney, the office’s state legislative agenda; serve as legal counsel and adviser to County officials and to the County Board and its committees; serve as counsel to independent county agencies and the liquor commission; oversee civil litigation involving criminal housing management, illegal gambling, street gangs, and prostitution.

    Look for a Ward Room Q&A as soon as Veenstra becomes an official candidate. 

    Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!