Republican Congressman Joe Walsh announced Thursday he will not attend the Republican National Convention in Florida, a move he calls "consistent with everything I've done since I've gotten elected" and not any indication of being snubbed from a speaking gig.
The 8th Congressional District candidate says he will use the time to hold meetings in the district to discuss the impact of Washington's policies on local residents.
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Walsh, of McHenry, is encouraging his opponent, Tammy Duckworth, to skip the Democratic convention.
"If she doesn't go to her convention I hope she joins me. The two of us could spend a number of those nights together. We could get in front of 200 veterans, 200 seniors, 200 moms (in the district)."
He called in-district exposure "much more valuable" than "being down in Tampa with a bunch of political insiders."
The Republican National Convention is Aug. 27-30.
Duckworth's campaign has told the Daily Herald that the Hoffman Estates Democrat -- also a delegate -- is undecided on whether she'll attend the party's convention Sept. 4-6 in Charlotte, N.C. She had no comment on Walsh's decision.
Walsh joins several other candidates in tough races in choosing to forego to the conventions in order to campaign. Deerfield Democrat Brad Schneider, running in the 10th Congressional District against Republican Congressman Bob Dold, is staying home as well.
Walsh said he had not yet been asked by party officials to speak at the convention, but "if I had it wouldn't have changed any decision I'd make," he said. "If they had offered the prime-time spot on Wednesday night. It wouldn't have changed my decision."