A community organizer from Waukegan became the first Democrat to declare his candidacy for the state's 10th Congressional District on Wednesday.
announced that he will pursue his party’s nomination to oppose in the 2012 general election.
Though he and Dold may not live when the redistricting process is completed, Sheyman said he was compelled to start his effort now.
“I can’t afford to wait until [the map] is drawn to stand up for real challenges to the American dream we are facing,” Sheyman said.
Similar goals, different strategies
Sheyman and Dold both want to strengthen the economy, create jobs and slash the federal deficit. However, they see different paths to achieving those goals.
Sheyman wants to eliminate the Bush-era tax cuts and pass legislation to foster job growth. Dold wants to stimulate employment through the private sector and leave tax rates relatively unchanged.
One area of agreement is that both would cut spending.
“During my first 100 days of Congress, I have been focused on creating private sector jobs and reining in out-of-control spending in Washington so we can leave America better for our children and grandchildren,” Dold said Wednesday.
Sheyman blames the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, fought on the heels of the Bush-era tax cuts, for the large budget deficit the country faces. His first spending cut would be to end those conflicts where “America no longer has a security interest.”
He would also legislate more jobs.
“I will pass a jobs bill that will put Americans back to work,” Sheyman said. “Congress should step in and direct the Small Business Administration to fulfill its mission and lend directly to small businesses who will create jobs."
Dold opposes increasing revenue by letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire. Though raising taxes are against his political bent, he would rule nothing out in working with Democrats to bring spending under control. He still emphasizes working with Democrats.
“I have been pleased to work with members from across the aisle on issues of importance to the 10th District and will continue to work in a bipartisan manner to offer solutions to the issues we face,” he said.
When Sheyman began his exploratory effort, he put a mechanism on his website to gauge support and potential fundraising prowess. He explained he has pledges of financial support in excess of $100,000.
“There was a place [on the website] for people to give their contact information and pledge donations up to the legal limit,” Sheyman said.
Now he has to make calls and ask for the funds.
Dold is off to a fast start with his re-election fundraising. One of the top freshman fundraisers, he collected $310,899 before the quarter ended March 31, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
Sheyman’s first report with the FEC will be due July 15.
Born in 1986 in Moscow, Sheyman moved to Chicago with his family in 1991. The Sheymans moved to Buffalo Grove when Ilya was 12. He graduated from and McGill University in Montreal with a degree in history and political science. He has been an organizer with both Democracy for America and MoveOn.org.
Redistricting may affect race
In the last six general elections that saw two geographic iterations of the 10th District, four have been very close. Changes were made to the constituency in 2002 after the 2000 Census count cost Illinois a seat in Congress just as the 2010 statistics will now. The result will add more people and alter the district's boundaries, which will happen before the 2012 elections as state lawmakers redraw the legislative maps.
In 2000, current Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) narrowly defeated former for the 10th District seat. Though Kirk was re-elected easily in 2002 and 2004, he had close races in 2006 and 2008 against Wilmette business consultant Dan Seals.
Dold, , recently told Patch he expects another close race.
“This is a great district and the race will be competitive as it always has been,” he said last week.