Adam Kinzinger is 32. He was elected at age 20 to the McLean County Board and served for five years. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he signed up for the Air Force. He was deployed twice to Iraq and flew missions into Afghanistan. (Just as an aside, he once disarmed a man who had attacked a woman with a knife in Madison, Wis.)
The young man has accomplished a great deal.
And yet Halvorson’s ads derisively dismiss him as a “politician.” Halvorson, take note, spent 12 years in the Illinois Senate and the last two years in the U.S. House. Red ink, meet red ink.
Kinzinger is one of the most impressive new candidates we have seen this year. He puts a premium on energy independence, on creating a climate that encourages business to create jobs, on finding new markets for the employers who put people to work in the 11th District. He makes a sure-footed defense of his conservative views. Kinzinger is endorsed.
. . . Republican Robert Dold and Democrat Dan Seals continue that tradition of strong debate. Dold is a Kenilworth businessman. He’s making his first run for office, but has been active in Republican Partypolitics for years and was an investigative counsel for the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. Seals is a Wilmette business consultant. He’s making his third run for this office. Call this the battle of the MBAs, Seals (University of Chicago) vs. Dold (Northwestern.)
It’s tempting to endorse Seals. We liked him each time we endorsed Mark Kirk over him. Our support this time goes to Dold. Though Democrats want to portray him as an arch-conservative, we’re convinced he will be in the moderate, pro-choice, independent mold of Kirk. And Dold will take a much firmer line on out-of-control federal spending than Seals. Dold is endorsed.
. . . Democratic Rep. Phil Hare, of Rock Island, is one of the most ardent trade protectionists in the House, much like his mentor, former Rep. Lane Evans. Common wisdom was that stance fit his district. (That’s by design. Democrats drew the 17th District boundaries that look like a crab’s claw, weaving around and about Illinois to snare enough pockets of Democrats to keep Republicans out of power.) But Republican Bobby Schilling, of Colona, is waging a heck of a campaign and has a real chance of winning. Schilling has been a union official, worked in financial services and now owns a pizzeria in Moline.
Schilling knows that farmers and manufacturers in western Illinois benefit from finding more markets, and that business and labor have to work together to establish those markets. Hare has tried to paint Schilling as an extremist. Our impression from talking to Schilling is that he’s a smart, independent conservative. Hare votes the Democratic Party line more than any other member of the Illinois delegation. Schilling is endorsed over Hare and Green Party candidate Roger Davis, of Quincy.