10th District Dems spar over Iran, health care on 'Chicago Tonight'

  • Nancy Rotering, left, and Brad Schneider

    Nancy Rotering, left, and Brad Schneider

Updated 3/2/2016 11:44 PM

The Democrats running to represent Illinois 10th Congressional District sparred about the Iran nuclear deal and the Affordable Care Act during a live televised appearance Wednesday night.

But candidates Nancy Rotering and Brad Schneider also showed they stand side-by-side on several issues -- including their support of Syrian refugees and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton -- during their appearance on WTTW's "Chicago Tonight."


With her questions, moderator Carol Marin tried to find differences between Rotering, the two-term mayor of Highland Park, and Schneider, a former congressman from Deerfield.

She struck gold when it came to the United States' controversial nuclear deal with Iran. Rotering has enthusiastically supported the pact, while Schneider has expressed reservations about elements of it.

Those reservations cost Schneider the support of former U.S. Rep. Abner Mikva and former U.S. Sen. Adlai E. Stevenson III. Both men now back Rotering, something Marin noted in her first question.

Now that it's in place, however, Schneider said he supports the agreement to ensure Iran doesn't acquire nuclear weapons.

"I believe that we have to make sure that this deal works," he said.

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Both Rotering and Schneider are Jewish, and the 10th District has a sizable Jewish population. For that reason, Rotering said, the Iran issue is an important one here.

"The security of Israel, the security of the Middle East, isn't a foreign policy issue. It's a local issue," Rotering said.

Whichever Democrat wins the March 15 primary will face incumbent Republican Robert Dold of Kenilworth in November's general election.

The 10th District includes parts of Cook and Lake counties, from Lake Michigan south into the North and Northwest suburbs.

Rotering also attacked Schneider on the Affordable Care Act.

Rotering accused Schneider, who served in the House from 2013 to 2015, of voting to "undermine" the health care law.


"He was working with the Republicans to delay the Affordable Care Act," Rotering said.

Schneider refuted that claim, saying the votes Rotering cited had to do with the definition of full-time workers. He also touted the support he's received from former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one of the chief players when it came to passing the health care law.

"I worked hard to defend the Affordable Care Act," Schneider said. "My record stands on its own."

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