Hamos says she'll be an ally of Obama in 10th District
Pledging to be a legislative ally for President Barack Obama, Democratic state Rep. Julie Hamos announced Tuesday she's running for Congress.
Hamos, of Evanston, is the fifth candidate to announce a bid for the 10th District seat now held by Republican Rep. Mark Kirk of Highland Park. Kirk is vacating the seat to run for U.S. Senate.
Hamos wasn't the only person to invoke Obama's name at the campaign kickoff at Highland Park's Heller Nature Center. So did a few of the supporters who preceded Hamos at the podium, including Buffalo Grove Mayor Elliott Hartstein and state Sen. Jeff Schoenberg of Evanston.
But Hamos did the most to connect herself to the president, saying she and Obama both spoke out against the U.S. invasion of Iraq at a 2002 rally. She also said she'd support Obama's health-care plan "instead of stalling it like Mark Kirk has done."
It was the event's only real jab at Kirk, who's represented the district since 2001. The 10th District occupies much of the North Shore in Cook and Lake counties but also includes some Northwest suburbs.
The seat long has been in Republican hands; Kirk's predecessor was Republican John Porter, who had been in office since 1980. Democrat Abner Mikva preceded Porter.
About 100 people attended Tuesday's event. Other prominent supporters in attendance included state lawmakers Elaine Nekritz and Karen May, and Lake County Board members Anne Flanigan Bassi and Michelle Feldman.
Feldman has been mentioned in recent weeks as a possible candidate, but she's firmly behind Hamos' bid.
Hamos spoke of the economy, the need for government to be frugal and the importance of clean energy and clean water. She identified affordable health care as another priority, specifically citing reproductive health care in her remarks.
Hamos is one of four Democrats in the race so far. The others are two-time hopeful Dan Seals of Wilmette, state Sen. Michael Bond of Grayslake and Elliot Richardson of Highland Park.
Only Richardson actually lives in the 10th District. District residency is not a requirement for Congress, but Hamos said Tuesday she intends to sell her Evanston condominium and move into the district.
When asked about the growing field of Democratic candidates, Hamos said the campaign "will be an opportunity for us to have a full, robust debate."
One Republican, Mount Prospect resident Patricia Bird, has announced an intent to run so far.
Other candidates are expected to compete on both sides of the aisle.