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Joel Pollak

Republican, Running for Congress



    Jan Schakowsky and Joel Pollak are squaring off along the North Shore. (Published Friday, Oct. 15, 2010)

    CASH ON HAND$2,710

    The Man:South African native Joel Pollak is a Harvard-educated lawyer who flipped parties in college. Now he's running as the Republican candidate for the 9th district. He hopes to prevent incumbent Congressman Jan Schakowsky from winning her seventh term.

    Pollak, 33, authored two books while studying at Harvard. He has tutored underprivileged children in South Africa while earning his masters in Jewish Studies at the University of Cape Town, and he lived with a Muslim family for two years after 9/11 while learning Arabic.

    His top priorities include creating jobs, cuting down on wasteful spending, fighting corruption in Chicago along with "Chicago-like" corruption in Washington, and repealing Health Care reform.

    The Knock: Pollak is a young candidate and a recently converted Democrat, a fact he admitted to Fox News after an impromptu debate with Democrat Barney Frank in 2009. Now he's touting Tea Party policies. Pollak lacks the experience of his opponent.

    The Strategy: Pollak has filed an ethics complaint against Schakowsky for offering extra aid and support to donors with businesses facing foreclosures. He already poses a threat to his opponent's Jewish base, but Pollak is also reaching out to Catholics and other voting groups in the Northern suburbs. Pollak has also aligned himself with the Tea Party for additional support.

    The Buzz: