Quigley, Hanson talk Russia, being bipartisan in race for Congress
Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley and his Republican opponent, Tom Hanson, don't agree on much, particularly when it comes to the Robert Mueller investigation and Russian hacking into the 2016 election.
Quigley, a nine-year incumbent in the 5th District seat, is a member of the House Intelligence Committee, which led its own probe on Russian interference that Quigley vowed to reopen if the Democrats take control of Congress. He also called the separate ongoing Mueller investigation "one of the most important in American history."
Hanson, a commercial real estate broker, said he doesn't believe President Donald Trump's campaign colluded with the Russians -- a narrative he called "a hypothetical political gimmick for the Democrats to win the election." He also believes Mueller is going outside the scope of his authority.
"We're praying that the truth is revealed, and then we'll know what really is happening," Hanson said.
Both Chicago residents are running to represent a district that includes much of the city's North Side, but extends into the suburbs, including portions of Des Plaines, Elmhurst, Hinsdale, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Rosemont and Wood Dale.
Despite their stark differences, the candidates touted their bipartisan credentials in interviews with the Daily Herald Editorial Board.
Quigley, who calls himself a centrist Democrat, said he supported bills at the behest of congressional Republican leaders during Barack Obama's presidency that kept the government open. And in the process, he said, "it got out some of their worst from the bill and put in some of our best."
If the Democrats win in November, Quigley anticipates legislation will be fashioned in a more bipartisan manner. And because he could be in line for chairmanship of a House Appropriations subcommittee, he said he would be in a good position to bring resources back to the Chicago area. He previously secured funding for CTA upgrades and flood control reservoirs, but also has supported funding for infrastructure upgrades across the country.
"There's a lot of anger out there and polarization," Quigley said. "I get why people are frustrated and angry. At the end of the day, I'm not there to scream and shout and pound on tables. I'm there to get things done."
Hanson touted his experience in the downtown Chicago real estate business and work he's done in Tennessee, working with and for people on both sides of the political aisle. If elected, he said, he'd work with Republicans and Democrats on an awareness campaign about drugs and sexual assault.
"What concerns me the most is how the country is so divided," Hanson said. "Life's too short to be fighting like this. People need to get along."
Hanson acknowledged that the 5th District heavily favors Democrats but said he still believes he can win. He's making his second run for office after losing in the 2009 GOP primary for the 5th District race.
Hanson was unopposed in the primary this time around, while Quigley defeated three challengers in what was his first primary challenge since being elected to Congress.