A roundup of suburban Congressional candidates, issues

Daily Herald staff report

Heated congressional races are heading full steam toward Tuesday's election, including the 10th District's high-profile three-peat and the battle to fill the 8th District seat being vacated by Tammy Duckworth as she runs for U.S. Senate.

The campaigns are part of the battle for Congress, though the strong 246 to 186 Republican majority over the Democrats is less vulnerable than the Senate's slimmer GOP margin.

The strength of presidential coattails is one unknown this year. The swing-district 10th has been a focus for both parties, but other suburban races also have attracted significant financial backing.

Here's how congressional races in the suburbs are shaping up.

Dold, Schneider face off for third time in 10th

The showdown for Illinois' 10th Congressional District seat is a familiar one for Republican Bob Dold of Kenilworth and Democrat Brad Schneider of Deerfield.

Dold and Schneider are facing off for the third straight election. This time, Dold is the incumbent and Schneider is the challenger. Schneider beat Dold in 2012, but Dold won in 2014.

Both candidates portray themselves as centrists willing to work across the aisle on issues including health care, gun control and the economy. In contrast, each has accused the other of being a party loyalist.

Dold has slammed Schneider for first opposing the Iran nuclear deal and then supporting it. In response, Schneider has said he doesn't like the pact but enforcing it is the only way to keep Iran from having nuclear weapons.

Schneider has accused Dold of repeatedly voting to defund or dismantle the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law that Schneider strongly supports. Dold said some of those votes were aimed at fixing parts of the law and that he was one of only three Republicans who voted against repealing the law in February 2015.

The 10th District includes parts of Cook and Lake counties. It stretches from the Wisconsin line to parts of Mount Prospect and from Lake Michigan west to Fox Lake.

Quigley, Kolber, Sherman in three-way race in 5th

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley is facing opposition from Republican challenger Vince Kolber, who also ran in 2014, and Green Party candidate Rob Sherman.

Quigley, of Chicago, who has held the seat since 2009, said he is seeking another term to keep working toward a bipartisan budget in Congress. "Now more than ever we need to spend taxpayer dollars wisely and make smarter investments that will grow our economy and create jobs," Quigley said.

Kolber, of Chicago, said the economy is his top priority, but he would approach it differently than Quigley has. The owner of Residco, an aircraft and rail car sale, lease and management company, Kolber said he understands the need for tax changes and for cheaper health care for small businesses.

Rob Sherman, who has long been an outspoken atheist, said his priorities are election reform, stopping America from becoming a socialist country and making government more secular by eliminating Christmas as a federal holiday and taking God off money and out of the Pledge of Allegiance. A longtime Buffalo Grove resident, he recently moved to Poplar Grove.

The 5th Congressional District includes parts of Chicago, Oak Brook, Elmhurst, Bensenville, Des Plaines and Elk Grove Village.

Immigration divides candidates in 6th

U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam would like a sixth term representing the 6th Congressional District. But Democratic challenger Amanda Howland has plans of her own.

Howland, of Lake Zurich, is looking to unseat the 55-year-old Republican from Wheaton.

Howland, a 63-year-old attorney, says she would address "hyper-partisanship" in Washington, D.C., by encouraging representatives on both sides of the aisle to work together.

Roskam said during the campaign that Congress needs to tackle entitlements like Social Security and "stop kicking the can down the road for the next generation to fix."

Howland wants a legal path to citizenship for some of the millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Roskam says the federal government must first show it can secure the nation's borders.

The 6th District stretches from Naperville to Tower Lakes and includes parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.

DiCianni, Krishnamoorthi tout experience in 8th

Republican Pete DiCianni of Elmhurst and Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg say their experiences in government and business make each uniquely qualified to represent the 8th District in Congress.

DiCianni, a DuPage County Board member and former Elmhurst mayor, said he's proven himself an effective leader by securing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding for flooding relief in 2010 and 2013, helping draft four health care laws in Illinois and paving the way this spring for the potentially lifesaving surgery for a 3-year-old Addison girl whose Medicaid funding was stalled by the state budget crisis.

Krishnamoorthi, an attorney and president of two small businesses, said he's been an innovator in the tech industry as well as in appointed government positions. As Illinois deputy treasurer, he said, he helped make a program that returns unclaimed property run more quickly and with less cost. In the Illinois attorney general's office he worked in the anti-corruption unit to help bring greater transparency to state government.

Krishnamoorthi said his work in the private sector demonstrates that Illinois and the Chicago area are places where innovation and economic growth can thrive. The 8th District includes parts of Northwest Cook and northern DuPage counties.

Lasonde seeks to unseat Schakowsky in 9th

Republican Joan McCarthy Lasonde of Wilmette is challenging incumbent Democrat Jan Schakowsky of Evanston in the 9th Congressional District.

Lasonde, 50, is a former advertising executive and mother of three, including a 7-year-old foster daughter. She's been involved in her community all her life, but this is the first time she's run for office. She favors simplifying the tax code, reducing access to assault weapons, allowing school choice and vouchers, and revising - not repealing - the Affordable Care Act. She said the U.S. has no obligation to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement.

Schakowsky, 72, has represented the 9th District for 17 years. Her priorities include raising the minimum wage, background checks for gun purchases, and changing the tax code to end benefits for companies shifting profits overseas, reward businesses that stay in the U.S. and end tax breaks for capital gains and dividends.

She has introduced bills to add a public option for those insured under the Affordable Care Act and to reduce monopolies for high-priced drugs.

One main area where the candidates disagree is on the number of Syrian refugees that should be allowed into the U.S. Schakowsky wants to allow 100,000 Syrians to enter, saying the vetting process is very thorough. Lasonde believes the number should be capped at 10,000.

The U-shaped 9th Congressional District goes as far south as Lincoln Park, up the North Shore to Winnetka, and out to some of the Northwest suburbs, including Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights and Arlington Heights.

Foster, Khouri running for 11th Congressional District seat

Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster of Naperville is running against Republican Tonia Khouri of Aurora in his bid for a third term representing the 11th Congressional District.

Khouri, a DuPage County Board member and small-business owner, says she won't vote in lock-step with her party's leadership. One of her priorities is addressing poverty by connecting people with jobs that provide livable wages. She supports earned legal status for immigrants, school choice and stricter enforcement of existing gun laws.

Foster says his experience as a businessman and physicist brings a unique perspective to Congress. He supports an assault weapons ban, universal background checks and a "no fly, no buy" law for gun purchases; is working toward reduced-cost tuition and an increase in the federal minimum wage; and wants to create a path to citizenship.

The two are vying for a seat that covers parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will counties, including Aurora, Naperville, Bolingbrook, Burr Ridge and Joliet.

Candidates offer clear contrasts in 14th

Incumbent Republican Randy Hultgren, of Plano, and Democrat Jim Walz, a Warren Township High School District 121 board member from Gurnee, hold contrasting positions on many major issues as they vie in the 14th Congressional District.

Hultgren supports repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. Walz supports a gradual move toward universal health care.

Hultgren does not support any form of amnesty for undocumented immigrants. He favors a biometric entry/exit system and more use of electronic verification of immigration status by employers before hiring workers. Walz supports the DREAM Act as a path to citizenship and "whistle-blower" visas to encourage workers to report business owners who abuse undocumented immigrants.

Hultgren supports gun law changes to keep people who are suspected terrorists or who appear on no-fly lists from accessing weapons. But he believes a judge, not a bureaucrat, must rule on cases individually. Walz supports expanded background checks, closing of the gun show loophole and reinstituting the federal assault weapons ban.

The large 14th District wraps around the outer suburbs from the Wisconsin line to Interstate 80.

From left, Republican Vince Kolber, Democrat Mike Quigley and Green Party Rob Sherman are candidates for the 5th Congressional District.
Democrat Amanda Howland, left, and Republican Peter Roskam are candidates in the 6th Congressional District.
Republican Pete DiCianni, left, and Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi are candidates in the 8th Congressional District.
Republican Joan McCarthy Lasonde, left, and Democrat Jan Schakowsky are candidates in the 9th Congressional District.
Democrat Bill Foster and Republican Tonia Khouri are vying for the 11th Congressional District.
Republican Randy Hultgren, left, and Democrat Jim Walz are candidates for the 14th Congressional District.
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