8th District Democrats compare credentials, experience
The Democrats hoping to succeed congresswoman Tammy Duckworth as representative of the 8th District each believe their different backgrounds make them the best choice for voters in the March 15 party primary.
Villa Park Mayor Deb Bullwinkel, state Sen. Michael Noland of Elgin and business owner and former deputy state treasurer Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg compared their qualifications during an interview Wednesday with the Daily Herald Editorial Board.
"I'm running for Congress because people want someone just like them representing them in Congress," Bullwinkel said. "I have that people appeal, in terms of being one of them."
A former journalist who's since worked as an advocate for people with mental disabilities, Bullwinkel said she has the communications skills and inclusiveness to build consensus, as proven by being elected a female Democratic mayor in traditionally Republican DuPage County.
She believes she's proven her leadership on the local equivalents of national issues by building new infrastructure and creating jobs through a successful $23 million road improvement referendum in Villa Park.
Noland said his qualifications include having a current job with responsibilities similar to that of a U.S. representative.
"I'm the only candidate with legislative and military experience," he said, referring to his service in the U.S. Navy. "I've shown an ability to work with people on both sides of the aisle. I believe my record shows I've fought against the status quo in Springfield."
Noland cites opposition to unbalanced budgets and being the only Democrat to vote against House Speaker Michael Madigan's continuation as party chairman as evidence he won't export the Springfield mindset to Washington, D.C.
Though Krishnamoorthi has held government positions -- including special assistant attorney general in the Illinois attorney general's office's public integrity unit -- he cites his small business experience with a high-tech company and private sector background as his best qualifications for Congress.
"Other people create legislation, I create jobs," Krishnamoorthi said.
Because the government doesn't have the resources to achieve all its goals, Krishnamoorthi said public-private partnerships will be the best solution to many future issues. He believes his experience will make him a natural leader in that area.
His knowledge of high-tech industry and clean energy could help guide the country in new projects that would simultaneously save the planet and create jobs, he added.
The only candidate on the March 15 Republican primary ballot for the 8th District is DuPage County Board member and former Elmhurst Mayor Pete DiCianni.
The 8th District encompasses portions of northwest Cook County, northern DuPage County and northeast Kane County.