Almost all of the nationwide, hell even statewide, attention has been focused on the exciting matchup for Congress between Tea Party poster boy incumbent Representative Joe Walsh and war hero/veteran’s rights star Democrat Tammy Duckworth. It is certainly an important and compelling race. And in a district redrawn for her and tons of national money, Duckworth is a favorite to win a bruising battle in November.
But there are other important Congressional races in the Chicago metropolitan area flying under the radar and in danger of withering without significant infusions of cash and volunteers. These are tough, but winnable races as the public perception of the Republican controlled House of Representatives sinks lower by the day and weak GOP incumbents are forced to run in largely unfamiliar territory. The recent redistricting saw to that.
Take the race in the new 14th District which makes a giant C through the outer suburbs from a strip along the Wisconsin border in Lake County through portions of McHenry, Kane, Dupage, and Will Counties. It is still so unfamiliar to many voters that they are now sure what district they now find themselves in.
The incumbent in this race, and I use the phrase loosely, is Randy Hulgren, a first termer and former state legislator who has only a portion of his original district. Hulgren is every bit as conservative as Walsh, just not so outlandishly loud mouthed about it. He is also virtually unknown in the northern 2/3rds of the new district.
Anderson is a retired health care administrator in both the public and private sectors who has impressed many with his firm grip on the issues and a serious approach to making the run. He is not oddball or sacrificial lamb.
Anderson is proving it by working hard to raise money, organize a critical ground game, and establish a public identity. To prove his seriousness, he is personally working the phones calling active Democrats and party contributors across his district. Two days ago I received a call on my cell phone and a couple of hours later answered the phone for my employer, another active Democrat only to find Dennis on the line. I have not seen that level of personal commitment by other Democratic Congressional candidates in what has often been written off as a hopelessly Republican area.
Dennis was calling about a house party and fund raiser this Sunday in Barrington. I can’t be there. But maybe you can. Here are the details from Dennis’s e-mail invite: