The Democratic race to replace U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth in the northwest suburban 8th Congressional District could be a close one.
A poll by GBA Strategies last month showed businessman Raja Krishnamoorthi with 41 percent, state Sen. Michael Noland with 27 percent and Villa Park Village President Deborah Bullwinkel with 5 percent. The poll of 400 likely voters was taken Feb. 9 to 11 for Krishnamoorthi’s campaign, which released the results.
Considering the margin of error is 4.9 percent and 26 percent of those surveyed said they were undecided, some political observers say the race could be tight. An earlier poll taken in January by Public Policy Polling showed Noland with 22 percent, Krishnamoorthi with 17 percent, Bullwinkel with 11 percent and 50 percent undecided.
Krishnamoorthi, a former state deputy treasurer who ran against Duckworth in 2012, has received the endorsements of high-ranking Democrats, like Sen. Dick Durbin and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Krishnamoorthi has also raised more money than the other candidates, with more than a million dollars on hand at the end of last year, according to federal campaign records.
“[Rep. Duckworth] has done an excellent job at constituent services, which is an important part of the job,” Krishnamoorthi said. “She’s also been in very close contact with all of the elected officials of the district to find out what their needs and wants are, which is something I would respectfully like to do should I be elected the next member of Congress from this area.”
Noland, on the other hand, had a little over $64,000 on hand by the end of last year. But he has the support of state Senate President John Cullerton and the state’s largest public employee union, AFSCME Council 31. Noland, an attorney and Navy veteran, was first elected to the General Assembly in 2007.
“Where I differ from [Rep. Duckworth] is our belief that we need to be a little bit more aggressive with respect to answering some of the requirements under the Affordable Care Act,” Noland said. “I’d like to see us perhaps shift to a single-payer universal health care. I think she would have taken a more graduated approach to that. So, I’d like to see us … make health care a right and not so much a privilege.”
Bullwinkel began her political career in 2009 when she was elected as a village trustee in Villa Park. She then successfully ran for village president in 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the Lisle Sun and as a director for two mental health organizations. Bullwinkel had $14,000 on hand at the end of last year, according to financial reports.
“[Rep. Duckworth] has made herself available,” Bullwinkel said. “That is one of the things I will hope to have the opportunity to follow along in her tradition – being accessible and available to the people of the 8th Congressional District.”
Whoever wins the Democratic primary will face Republican Peter DiCianni, a DuPage County board member, in the November general election.
Details about the District
The 8th Congressional District includes Elk Grove Village, Schaumburg, Elgin and a western portion of O'Hare Airport. It's home to 725,320 residents. Of those residents, 493,417 identify as white, 29,460 identify as black or African-American and 207,517 identify as Hispanic or Latino. Below, see how residents identified themselves in a 2014 American Community Survey.
Of the population, 571,056 are estimated to be age 16 and over, with the unemployment rate estimated at 7.5 percent. The average income per household is $79,299, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Below, see the income and benefits (in 2014 inflation-adjusted dollars) per household.
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