Saturday, July 25, 2009

State Rep. Julie Hamos likely to become the 10th Cong. Dist. Democratic Primary frontrunner on Tuesday

Links added and text corrected on Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 3:30am to reflect, as indicated below, that Dan Seal's losing vote total against Cong. Kirk in the 10th CD 2008 general election improved to 47.4%--up slightly from his 2006 46.6% performance[See vote totals at close of the article], contrary to what was written previously in this post and another recent post, i.e., that Seal's vote totals from 2006 to 2008 had declined from 47% to 45% and that Kirk's vote totals had correspondingly increased from 53% to 55%. "Public Affairs," regrets the error and apologizes to its gentle readers for any inconvenience caused by the mistake.
State Rep. Hamos to shift her AG campaign to the 10th Cong. Dist. Dem. Primary

Rich Miller reported yesterday (the Capitolfax blog) that State Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Evanston, 18th Dist) will be “announcing for something,” this Tuesday at noon (her office sent an email to “supporters,” announcing this) and that the 11th year State Rep. is “widely expected,” to run for the 10th CD. Rep. Hamos declined to comment to this journalist this afternoon, other than to refer me to her email that said she would “announce for something,” on Tuesday.

According to reliable sources, it is almost certain that Rep. Hamos will meet expectations and announce for the 10th CD Dem. Primary on Tuesday. State Rep. Hamos was set to run for AG when Lisa Madigan surprised everybody with her recent announcement to seek re-election to that office. Hamos had been doing the “listening tour,” across the State of Illinois for a good part of this year and put in motion a good AG exploratory organization, including fund raising. That operation will now become much more localized on the 10th CD.

It is possible that Rep. Hamos could run for State Treasurer, with Treasurer Giannoulias announcing, officially, tomorrow his run for U. S. Senate. Alternatively, she could run for Comptroller, as Comptroller Hynes is almost certain to announce soon his bid for Governor. However, there has been virtually no speculation that Hamos will seek either of those offices and it is unlikely that the 57-year-old State Rep. will stay put in her current office. Thus, going with the reliable sources, it seems reasonable to predict that Hamos runs in the 10th CD.

Hamos’ listening tours

While touring the State as a likely AG candidate, Hamos got an earful from downstaters who wanted to know if she wanted to take their guns away. She assured them she understood the need for some regional differences on those issues. Perhaps State Rep. Hamos will start a listening tour through the 10th CD. As a 10th CD candidate, Rep. Hamos will hear somewhat different concerns from a district that voted 53% for Presidential candidate Kerry and 61% for Presidential Candidate Barack Obama.

On the other hand, the 10th CD has been held by Republicans John Porter and Mark Steven Kirk for the last three decades. The affluent district spreads from Chicago’s North Shore in Wilmette north through Kenilworth, Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park, Lake Forest and continues north through some less affluent areas almost to Wisconsin and to areas to the West including portions of such villages as Wheeling, Palatine, Mt. Prospect, Arlington Heights

Social liberals and fiscal conservatives

Initially, the 10th CD was a Republican District, but, as the District was turning Democratic, both Porter and Kirk billed themselves as “social liberals and fiscal conservatives.” Kirk took that slogan to the extreme, so to speak, as he co-opted Democratic constituencies by being quite strongly (1) pro choice on abortion, (2) pro gun control, (3) pro gay rights, (4) pro environmental, (5) pro Israel and as he put it in the last election (6) (pro public school teacher.

Hamos and Kirk, Similarities and Differences

Hamos will track Kirk’s social liberal views and differentiate herself from Kirk’s support of the Bush tax cuts and his prior support of the Iraq War. Indeed, during the last two election cycles, Kirk, himself, backtracked somewhat on his support for the War and the Bush tax cuts.

Hamos, who fled Hungary to come to Cleveland, Ohio with her parents, Holocaust survivors, at seven and knows a thing or two about freedom, has an experienced political ear. Although she has held office for only eleven years, she has been in and around politics and public policy all of her three decade, or so, professional career including stints for AFSCME, House Ways and Means and State’s Attorney Richard M. Daley. She received her law degree from George Washington University and undergraduate degree from Washington University at St. Louis.

Hamos’ vote to increase the state income tax

Hamos voted for the Quinn 50% state income tax increase in May, saying it was not “a popular vote,” but it was “the only option.” [Read about this and take the link to watch Hamos discuss the tax issue, about 5 minutes into the show]. That vote may help Hamos in the 10th CD Dem Primary (Senator Michael Bond, who is also running in the 10th CD, voted against the state income tax increase), but it could be a problem for Hamos in the 10th CD general election, notwithstanding the District’s support for Obama over McCain.

All in all, State Rep. Hamos will be the front-runner in the 10th CD Dem Primary [see, below]. This is the case even though the bulk of her 18th State Rep. district is outside the 10th CD. The exceptions are Winnetka, Kenilworth and East Wilmette, where she has held her own when she has had contested elections, but her big margins that gave her 70%, or more, victories, came out of Evanston and Rogers Park.

Hamos to move into 10th CD

Hamos is a hard working, personable, experienced, politician and pubic policy maker who will campaign and do well throughout the 10th CD. She lives in Evanston, outside the 10th CD, but she will probably soon move into the 10th CD, even though that is neither a political nor constitutional requirement. (Cong. Melissa Bean (D-Barrington), for example, lives a block or two outside her 8th CD, and that has not hurt her much; On the other hand, when Democrat Tammy Duckworth lost to Cong. Roskam (R-Wheaton) in a close 2006 general election, it might have helped her if she lived within the 6th CD boundaries).

Senator Michael Bond (D-Grayslake) is a relative novice at this and many Democrats say his win in the State Senate was kind of a fluke. Reliable sources think he very well may not go the distance in the 10th CD Primary.

Seals, a three-time loser?

Dan Seals, who lost to Kirk in 2006 and 2008 with 46.6% (to Kirk's 53.4%) and 47.4% (to Kirk's 52.6%) of the vote, respectively, now has very good name recognition but lacks the political experience, background and devoted followings of Hamos. Seals did much better against Kirk than anyone since State Rep. Lauren Beth Gash ran against Kirk in 2000 (losing by only 5500 votes). However, most Democrats say that 2006 and 2008 were such strong years for Democrats that Seals should have won. A great many of his prior supporters will not want to give Dan a chance to become a “three time loser.” As this journalist said, State Rep. Julie Hamos will become the front-runner in the 10th CD Democratic Primary on Tuesday at noon.
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