Whichever Republican candidate 8th District congresswoman Tammy Duckworth faces in the November general election will have zero elected experience. Neither Carpentersville resident Larry Kaifesh nor Aurora resident Manju Goel has ever even run for public office. Their conservative ideologies are so similar -- including their passionate determination to dissolve the Affordable Care Act -- that both are left to tweak each other on a personal level. Kaifesh is a longtime Marine Corps reservist who returned to his native Carpentersville, in the 8th Congressional District, recently to run for office. He says one of his strengths -- as exhibited in Afghanistan -- is to bring disparate parties to agreement, something he feels would help a dysfunctional Congress.
Manju Goel, who lives outside the district in Aurora, has worked as an efficiency expert in health care and feels that her experience will help her streamline a health care solution that won't bankrupt the country. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1987 from her native India.
She has the backing of conservative stalwarts Newt Gingrich and Joe Walsh. Party leaders feel she can help broaden the traditional GOP base to include more women and minorities.
With the pair's stances on virtually all issues being similar, Goel stands a better chance of winning crossover votes in November.
Goel is endorsed.