8th District hopefuls stress their cross-party appeal
The candidates hoping to succeed Democratic congresswoman Tammy Duckworth in representing Illinois' 8th District believe they can appeal to voters across the great partisan divide.
Republican Pete DiCianni of Elmhurst and Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg say their positions on issues ranging from health care to corporate taxes can draw registered members of the opposite party to support them in the voting booth this November.
DiCianni, a DuPage County Board member and the former mayor of Elmhurst, said his bipartisan support of health care issues such as autism, heroin addiction and access to epinephrine auto-injectors, or EpiPens, for allergy sufferers may draw Democrats to him.
As the only candidate in the race to have held elected office, he emphasizes that he has the practical experience of working in a bipartisan way to get legislation passed. Mayors in particular demonstrate the essence of bipartisan leadership, he said.
"I've been known as an independent person in my party," DiCianni said. "Many people can talk about what they want to do. I've done it."
Krishnamoorthi, who has held appointed government positions such as special assistant attorney general and deputy state treasurer, said his practical approach to improving the Affordable Care Act and reducing the corporate tax rate could appeal to Republican voters.
Though pleased that President Barack Obama's health care reforms brought coverage to 20 million people previously uninsured, Krishnamoorthi said he's open to Republican ideas to make it more affordable and get more young people enrolled.
"I think the reason why different Republicans have endorsed me is because I'm not ideological about this," said Krishnamoorthi, who now heads a manufacturing business. "I think that we don't necessarily have a monopoly on all the good ideas associated with the Affordable Care Act and we need to talk to folks on the other side of the aisle about ways to improve our delivery of health care."
Krishnamoorthi also oversees research into solar energy. While it's often promoted on its environmental friendliness -- a traditionally Democratic priority -- he says it also should appeal to businesses was a means to produce their own energy.
The 8th District is roughly centered in Schaumburg and includes parts of northwest Cook, northeast Dupage and northeast Kane counties.