IL-14 Roundup #3

the two primaries in illinois' 14th congressional district are fast approaching.  the biggest piece of news in this race is that the endorsement session for the chicago tribune is available online:

but given the importance of this particular race -- voters will not only be choosing their nominees for the general election in november, but also their nominees for the special election in march to fill the term of retiring dennis hastert -- there's plenty of other news.

we can file the recent articles into three categories: news about the special election, coverage of the numerous debates in this race and news about the candidates themselves.  the authoritative illinois issues online has comprehensive coverage in this month's issue.  congressional quarterly, as usual, had two articles about the race, starting with a setup piece that mentions how important it is for democrats to win this seat:

The next special House election -- the sixth of the 2007-08 cycle -- will occur March 8 in Illinois' 14th District, a mostly suburban district west of Chicago where the winner will succeed former Republican House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, who resigned Nov. 26. That contest may turn out to be the most competitive special election this cycle: While Illinois' 14th gave Bush 55 percent of the vote in the 2004 election, it is the most politically competitive in presidential vote performance of the seven districts that have held special elections this election cycle or soon will.

The chief contestants -- Democratic scientist Bill Foster and Republicans Chris Lauzen, a state senator, and Jim Oberweis, a dairy executive -- are well-funded and are preparing to run in a Feb. 5 special primary election that will coincide with the state's regularly scheduled primary election.

another article notes the potential confusion of asking voters to cast two different ballots.

the ongoing debates between the three democrats (and, sometimes, two republicans -- joe serra seems to be MIA) have generated plenty of coverage.  the chambers of commerce breakfast in st. charles continued to receive coverage, here and here

both chicago public radio and wgn radio covered last night's (january 8) debate; i don't know why their aren't streaming versions of their coverage.  the kane county chronicle also covered the debate.  there was also this coverage of the endorsement session at the aurora beacon news.

john laesch woke up to good news this morning: state senator mike noland has endorsed him.  last week, bill foster was in the news for receiving endorsements by elected officials of both parties.

jotham stein won among democrats in eric zorn's year end reader poll (1,375 total responses)  biil baar wonders if that doesn't make stein our huckabee? stein started a new youtube page that includes the introductory video on his website, as well as two new videos: Global Warming and Immigration Reform v. Scientist's National ID Card.  

booman tribune has an old interview of john laesch that now comes up on google search.  his campaign continues its periodic campaign updates here and here. laesch's former blogger also talks about Podunk,IL vs. the New Chicago Machine. the laesch youtube page covers his simmons appearance (broken into multiple videos and quentin young's endorsement.

support for bill foster has been growing on the blogs.  this post notes that foster is being called the front runner in the race.  i also overlooked the bill foster interview epluribus media conducted at yearlykos.  another post looks at foster's energy proposals.

foster has benefitted both from his status as a scientist and the recent cutbacks at fermilab (a major employer in the district).  his science credentials are finding posts on political and non-political blogs, including Physics and Physicists: Politics & Science, and Open Science Thread: Politics & Science and another Open Science Thread.  finally, Nuclear Mangos covered foster.  one blogger wants you to know that he contributed to foster because of this.  the cutbacks at fermilab have gotten foster mentions in the local press, Fermilab under threat due to federal budget and Federal budget so far not good for Fermilab.

it's become apparent to everyone that all three campaigns have active efforts in contacting voters at their door or phone.  the foster campaign has begun it's mail effort and is more frequently advertising on television.  i expect the stein campaign to begin to mail to voters shortly; no one knows if laesch will have the money to mail.

perhaps the biggest development is the effort at the regional level to organize democrats to participate in the special election in march.  a loose coalition of party organizations and grassroots activists are beginning to focus on this race after the super duper tuesday.  the most recent development in this area is the interest in taking the lessons learned in iowa by midwestern democrats and apply them to this special election.

the foster campaign reports:

Bill Foster has been picking up the endorsements of local leaders in the district, including former Newark Mayor Roger Ness, DeKalb County Board member Robert Rosemier, Kane County Board members Gerald Jones, Bonnie Lee Kunkel, and Rudy Neuberger, and Aldermen Chuck Brown (Geneva), Mike Saville (Aurora), and Jim Volk (Batavia).  His message that, as a scientist and businessman, he's an experienced problem solver ready to address the issues facing our community and our nation and ready to change the ways thinsg are done in Washington, is gaining traction and resonating with voters.

they have numerous events coming up in the next week including activities in winfield township, west dundee and elgin.

the other campaigns did not report anything new for the next week or so.

as for outlook, it will be interesting to see how the different campaign's messages resonate with voters.  while laesch has a certain emotional appeal to the area's progressives, foster apparently has an equally emotional appeal to those effected by the fermilab job losses.  other residents fearing for their jobs may coalesce around foster, as well.  stein has reacted strongly to some of foster's proposals, and this may provide another emotional base for support.  but you have to reach people through all the noise and connect with them to secure an emotional base.  the debates scheduled with the republican candidates doesn't really help the three differentiate themselves from one another...

Tags: Bill Foster, IL-14, John Laesch, jotham stein (all tags)

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