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posted: 3/20/2012 9:58 PM

Schneider wins 10th Congressional Democratic primary race

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  • Brad Schneider

      Brad Schneider

 
 

Democrats in Illinois' 10th Congressional District have chosen Brad Schneider to challenge Republican Rep. Robert Dold in November.

With votes in 418 of 419 precincts counted Tuesday, Schneider was solidly atop a field of four candidates on the ballot, unofficial results showed. He had 15,403 votes, or nearly 47 percent.

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Ilya Sheyman was in second place with 12,669 votes, or more than 38 percent.

John Tree was far behind in third place with 2,901 votes, and Vivek Bavda was fourth with 1,858 votes.

The totals didn't include some votes that were cast early or by mail, or provisional ballots.

A fifth Democrat in the race, Aloys Rutagwibira, ran a write-in campaign and did not appear on the ballot. A vote count for Rutagwibira wasn't immediately available.

The 10th District includes parts of Lake and Cook counties. It stretches from Lake Michigan into the North and Northwest suburbs.

Schneider won handily in both counties.

In a statement issued Tuesday night, Schneider went right after Dold, saying the freshman lawmaker from Kenilworth "has forgotten who he is supposed to fight for."

"I am running to make sure we give Bob Dold and his Tea Party friends a one-way ticket home," Schneider said, trying -- as many Democrats have done -- to tie Dold to those conservative GOP activists.

Dold was far more diplomatic Tuesday night. In his own statement, he congratulated Schneider for his primary victory and the other Democrats for taking part in the electoral process.

"In the coming months, I look forward to a spirited debate about the issues that concern the residents of the 10th District, and our nation," Dold said. "This election will present voters with a clear contrast in visions for our country's path forward."

The four Democratic candidates on the ballot had near-identical stances on many issues. All of them proclaimed unqualified support for abortion rights, for example, and they opposed concealed carry laws for handgun owners.

All four cited the economy and jobs as their top concerns, too.

But Schneider and Sheyman pulled away from the pack early and established themselves as the top contenders for the nomination.

They were the only candidates who bought TV ads during the campaign and the only ones with significant endorsements from the media, political groups and high-profile politicians.

Sheyman and Scheider also were the only candidates in the race who went negative.

Sheyman repeatedly attacked Schneider about thousands of dollars in donations he'd made to Republican candidates over the past decade.

Schneider shot back in one TV ad by questioning the support Sheyman received from out-of-district groups and accusing the candidate of "spreading lies."

Democrats haven't held the seat since 1979, when Abner J. Mikva represented the historically Republican district. He was succeeded by John Porter, Mark Kirk and then Dold, who beat Dan Seals in 2010.

Aside from Mikva, Republicans have represented the 10th District since 1915.

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