Riopell: Aaron Schock's loss is Bob Dold's win on Ways, Means Committee

 
Updated 4/23/2015 6:53 PM
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  • Bob Dold

    Bob Dold

Former congressman Aaron Schock's loss is now U.S. Rep. Bob Dold's gain.

Dold, a Kenilworth Republican, has been appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, filling the spot occupied by Schock before the Peorian resigned his seat under a pile of ethics questions.

Dold joins fellow suburban Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton on the panel, which is chiefly concerned with tax policy.

"Serving on the Ways and Means Committee gives the 10th District an even larger role in advancing solutions to some of the most pressing challenges we face, and I am grateful for the opportunity to address those challenges head on to bring positive changes to those in our community," Dold said in a statement.

Timely for Dold

Dold gets the boost just as he's poised to face a tough race for re-election next year in the ever-competitive North suburban 10th Congressional District. Democrat Brad Schneider is running to go back to Congress, and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, also a Democrat, is in the race, too.

National Democrats reacted to Dold's appointment, repeating their call for Dold to give to charity $10,000 he received from one of Schock's political committees.

None in yet; one out

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, a Naperville Democrat, has yet to draw a Republican opponent in 2016, but a top GOP official says there's interest.

Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar says he's heard from two Republicans -- one elected official, one not -- who are interested.

Claar is the 11th Congressional District's Republican state central committeeman, and he isn't saying who the potential candidates are, but he talked to both this week.

College of DuPage Trustee Kathy Hamilton was not one of the two, he said. She has risen to prominence in recent months as the lone vote against a big severance agreement for COD President Robert Breuder and as the leader of a slate of new candidates that won election to the board earlier this month.

Hamilton lives outside the 11th District and brushed off talk of her political stock rising.

"I have my hands full right now," Hamilton said.

"I need to reform the college," she said. "That's my first priority."

Merge surge?

State Sen. Chris Nybo, an Elmhurst Republican, is asking Gov. Bruce Rauner's government consolidation commission to take a look at whether DuPage County elections should be run by the county clerk instead of the DuPage County Election Commission.

Nybo credits county board member Liz Chaplin, a Downers Grove Democrat, with the idea, and he agreed to take it to Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, who leads the consolidation group.

Nybo said he's unsure if it's a good idea, but he said it's worth the statewide group looking at it.

"We're in an atmosphere and an era where we want to consolidate government," Nybo said.

The election commission's chairwoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The reverse

Close watchers of suburban politics will note this is the reverse of what happened in Lake County a few years back, when state lawmakers voted to strip the Lake County clerk of election duties and create a separate commission.

Local officials decried what they said would be big additional costs and challenged it in court. The courts struck down the law, and the Lake County clerk still runs elections there.

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