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Article updated: 11/6/2012 11:23 PM

Schakowsky easily beats Wolfe in 9th District

By Madhu Krishnamurthy

Voters overwhelmingly re-elected incumbent U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky to her eighth term representing the 9th Congressional District Tuesday.

The Evanston Democrat cruised to victory over political newcomer Republican Timothy Wolfe. With 527 of 538 precincts counted, unofficial vote totals show Schakowsky garnered 182,541 votes, almost twice Wolfe's total of 94,008 votes.

Schakowsky could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Schakowsky, 68, has held the 9th District seat for 14 years. Wolfe, 59, of Arlington Heights runs his own tax and accounting practice.

"I think we brought up a lot of issues," Wolfe said Tuesday conceding defeat. "I think we did a great job. I'm disappointed of course that we didn't do better. I don't feel the 9th District is being represented the way it should. I was wrong, but we've got to keep fighting to preserve our country."

During the campaign, the candidates starkly differed on issues such as immigration, health care, and entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.

Wolfe had called for the repeal of President Barack Obama's federal health care law, while Schakowsky is its strongest proponent.

Wolfe had called for reining in entitlement programs and raising the retirement age for Social Security to make it the same as the age for Medicare eligibility.

Schakowsky is against cutting Medicare or raising the Social Security retirement age, though she believes Democrats would be willing to discuss Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security spending.

The candidates also disagreed on the DREAM Act, which Schakowsky supports to provide a pathway to residency for some undocumented immigrants and Wolfe opposed because it would reward illegal immigration. Wolfe also called for not extending citizenship as a birthright to children born in the United States whose parents entered the country illegally, an idea Schakowsky called unconstitutional and said would undo a couple hundred years of U.S. policy granting citizenship to those born here.

Wolfe said he hasn't given much thought to whether he would pursue political office again.

"You learn by experience," he said. "I certainly would do things differently."

The newly drawn 9th District includes parts of Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Glenview, Mount Prospect, Niles, Palatine, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Rolling Meadows, Rosemont and Wheeling, as well as areas of Chicago and suburbs east of the Tri-State Tollway.

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