CASH ON HAND $1,170,672
INCUMBENT CONGRESSWOMAN MELISSA BEAN (D)
JOE WALSH (R)
The Woman: Incumbent Melissa Bean is running for her fourth term in the 8th District Race. She first ran for the office in 2002 and lost to Republican incumbent, Phil Crane. But in 2004, she waged an impressive rematch with Crane and took over the seat he had held for 36 years.
This Barrington mother of two served on the House Financial Committee and the Committee of small business. Typically she is fiscally conservative but socially liberal. She’s won the last two elections by solid numbers.
The Knock: Bean's liberal side showed a little more often during her last term. She supported several of the Obama administration’s initiatives, including passage of the health care bill.
While she remains mostly committed to increasing the government’s fiscal responsibility and consumer protections, she is a strong supporter of mandatory spending programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. This stance could be a weak point in her campaign during a time when Illinois faces its highest state deficit.
The Strategy: In the past elections Bean has managed to secure 60 percent of the votes, and is this year’s race is hers to lose. She needs to cast challenger Joe Walsh as an outsider Tea Party candidate not in line with the values of the 8th district.