Before was sworn into office in January, ) decided his 10th Congressional District seat was one it could win in 2012.
Nearly five months later, , a community organizer from Waukegan, has formally announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination to oppose Dold. Bradley S. Schneider, a business consultant from Deerfield, has also expressed interest.
Last week they both went on an educational field trip with the DCCC.
Special schooling from Plouffe, Pelosi
Sheyman and Schneider were two of 34 congressional candidates to receive special schooling at a training session conducted by the DCCC in Washington. The national party has made the district one of its 12 top tier races, according to Sheyman.
“We heard from leaders like David Plouffe,” Sheyman said of his training sessions. Plouffe is a senior adviser to President Barack Obama and was the manager of the president’s 2008 campaign.
“It was good to see the coordinated effort between the administration and the DCCC to help us take back the House," Sheyman said. "We’re not just going for 25 seats but many more districts. This is healthy for our party.”
The Democrats need a net gain of 25 seats to become the majority party in the House of Representatives.
Sheyman and Schneider met with people such as Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the former House speaker and current minority leader, as well as labor leaders and technocrats to help prepare them to wage effective campaigns.
Redistricting process still under way
All this is happening even though the The state legislature will vote on the redistricting process by the end of May, according to
Sheyman, who thinks the 10th District will stay the same when the new map is complete, explained that it was important to get an early start to his campaign, even if that means campaigning before all of his potential constituents are known.
"We need to have a serious discussion about the issues and we need to have it now," he said.
Dold is busy introducing legislation in Washington——and conducting to report on his efforts to the citizens. He, too, is not concerned about the state’s remap effort.
“Illinois' 10th District is a classic swing district,” Dold said. “We have a large number of independent voters and it will likely always be targeted by both parties.”
, the head of the Illinois 10th Congressional District Democrats, is pleased to see the DCCC taking the race so seriously and that several candidates have already begun campaigning. Sheyman, for example, has opened an office in downtown Waukegan and is actively fundraising and holding events.
“He is a candidate who is putting together a real campaign," Gash said about Sheyman.
Schneider has yet to take those steps, but told Patch he would be ready to discuss his ideas in more detail soon.
Bush-era tax cuts
Sheyman and Dold agree that strengthening the economy, creating jobs and slashing the federal deficit are the most pressing national concerns, but differ in their approach. Dold opposes raising taxes, while Sheyman would like to eliminate the Bush-era tax cuts.
“Revenue is at its lowest point in the last 40 years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office,” Sheyman said. “The Bush tax cuts are the biggest reason."
Dold, on the other hand, thinks reducing the deficit means spending less.
“I believe that we must make cuts before raising taxes,” he said. “Every federal department needs to be cut and every program needs to be reviewed.”
Sheyman agrees spending must be reduced, but wants part of the reduction to come from eliminating tax breaks for corporations like oil companies and increasing taxes for the wealthy. He's a fan of Rep. Jan Schakowsky's (D-Evanston) proposal, introduced in March, which would increase taxes for people earning more than $1 million a year.
“[Schakowsky's] proposal is a good idea for the people at the very top to pay more,” Sheyman said.
Dold wants to see revenue grow through increasing the number of people employed and paying taxes rather than increasing the burden on those who already have jobs. He also puts a high priority on spending less.
“I believe we must stop out-of-control spending and focus on private sector job growth,” Dold said. “We must grow revenue by putting more people back to work."