Race to Watch: 8th Congressional District

Race to Watch is a twice-weekly Ward Room column dedicated to helping voters familiarize themselves with candidates in the lead-up to the March 15 primary elections. This week’s focus is the 8th Congressional Dictrict House race.

In the race for Rep. Tammy Duckworth’s soon-to-be-vacated 8th Congressional district House seat, Former Deputy Treasurer of Illinois Raja Krishnamoorthi leads the Democratic field. He will face state Sen. Mike Noland and Villa Park Village President Deb Bullwinkel in the March 15 Democratic primary.

Krishnamoorthi was appointed a special assistant attorney general in the Public Integrity Unit by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan before leaving the office to serve as deputy treasurer in 2007.

Krishnamoorthi later lost the 2010 Illinois Comptroller race to David E. Miller. He also lost to Duckworth in the Democratic primary for the U.S. House seat in Illinois’ 8th Congressional District.

He has served as president of Bolingbrook’s Sivananthan Laboratories. The company focuses on research, development and commercialization of military night vision technology, solar cells, radiation detectors and biosensors to detect weapons of mass destruction.

Krishnamoorthi was recently endorsed by the Daily Herald.

“Krishnamoorthi brings to this race experience that is broad and deep, both in public service and in the business world,” the paper said.

The former deputy state treasurer has also received endorsements from Senator Dick Durbin, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicaid and Citizen Action/Illinois.

A poll of 400 likely Democratic voters conducted by GBA Strategies shows Krishnamoorthi leading Noland and Bullwinkel in the race for the Democratic nomination for the 8th District house seat.

According to the poll, which was conducted Feb 9-11, Krishnamoorthi received the support of 41 percent of voters with Noland receiving 27 percent and Bullwinkle garnering 5 percent. Twenty-six percent of respondents remained undecided.

A previous Public Policy Polling poll showed Noland leading Krishnamoorthi and Bullwinkel.
According to that poll, Noland received 22 percent of votes, Krishnamoorthi received 17 percent and Deb Bullwinkel received 11 percent. Fifty percent of voters in that poll were undecided.

Noland is a Democrat currently representing Illinois’ 22nd District in the state senate.

Noland served as a Navy Corpsman and in the Reserves with the U.S. Marine Corps.

Noland lost to Republican Douglas Hoeft in a 2002 race for the 43rd district house seat. Noland later lost a 2004 race for Ruth Munson’s 43rd district house seat.

Noland has since won state senate elections for the 22nd District in 2006, 2010 and 2012.

“As a State Senator I learned how to compromise, without surrendering my progressive values,” Noland said on his website. “Everyday, whether in the capitol or in my district, I make public service work for you.”

As a member of the Illinois General Assembly, Noland serves on the Judiciary and Public Health Committees, among others, and chairs the Criminal Law Committee.

Noland has received a litany of endorsements including Senate President John J. Cullerton, former Senate President Emil Jones Jr., American Postal Workers Union, AFSCME Council 31 and the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, among others.

Bullwinkel was elected Village Trustee of Villa Park in 2009. She was later elected Village President of Villa Park in 2013.

Bullwinkel is a small business owner who previously worked as a community newspaper reporter and as a director for mental health organizations.

“I’m running to stand up for working families, for small business owners, for seniors and veterans and for the vulnerable among us,” Bullwinkel said on her campaign website. “I will oppose any assault on the middle class and I am ready to work to get past the dysfunction in Congress and get things done for people of the 8th District.”

Pete DiCianni is running unopposed on the Republican ticket.

DiCianni claims to have authored three state laws including Brianna’s Law, which has been passed into law in 38 states.

“I’m running for Congress because I have the leadership, experience and passion to deal with critical national issues focusing on children, the elderly, creating jobs and a sound economy, as well as addressing vital infrastructure needs for our communities,” DiCianni said on his campaign website.

Bill Fraser will run as an independent in the race. Fraser is currently a teacher at Schaumburg High School.

“I am running to create a successful constituent voting operation on all bills that involve significant taxes and laws,” Fraser said in a statement. “The people of the 8th Congressional; District can be the first in the nation to elect a candidate that will tie his own hands and relinquish decision making power back to the constituency.”

The general election for the 8th District house seat will be held on November 8. 

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