Sweet exclusive: Schneider gearing up for 2016 rematch with Dold

SHARE Sweet exclusive: Schneider gearing up for 2016 rematch with Dold
SHARE Sweet exclusive: Schneider gearing up for 2016 rematch with Dold

WASHINGTON — Former Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., is gearing up for a 2016 rematch with Rep. Bob Dold, R-Ill., the Sun-Times has learned, in what will likely again be one of the biggest House races in the nation.

“I’m all but decided,” Schneider told me. He expects to make it official in a few weeks.

Dold won the north suburban 10th Congressional District seat twice and Schneider once on turf where bruising, multimillion-dollar House races and razor-thin victories are now the norm.

Dold, 45, a Kenilworth resident, has no GOP primary challenger lurking. Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering is considering a bid, potentially setting up a Democratic primary with Schneider, 53, who lives in Deerfield.

“I’ve been encouraging Brad to run and let Nancy know I will support her if he doesn’t,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.

Schakowsky, who represents the neighboring 9th Congressional District, is an influential voice among 10th District Democratic activists and donors.

Turnout will again be key to victory in a district Democratic mapmakers in Springfield drew to give the 10th a Democratic tilt.

  • In 2014, Dold won with 51.3 percent of the vote to Schneider’s 48.8. Turnout: 187,128, the lowest of the past three House elections in the 10th.
  • In 2012, Schneider won with 50.6 percent of the vote to Dold’s 49.4 percent. Turnout in the presidential year, 264,454.
  • In 2010, Dold won with 51.1 percent of the vote to 48.9 for Democrat Dan Seals. Turnout: 215,232.

“For sure, in a presidential year, we would see a major uptick in Democratic turnout,” Schakowsky said.

Since rejoining Congress, Dold pretty much picked up where he left off.

House GOP leaders again put Dold on the Financial Services Committee, a prime panel that can give a fundraising assist.

Dold again linked up with the Tuesday Group, an organization of GOP moderates, where he now is the co-chairman.

On Jan. 27, Dold filed the papers with the Federal Election Commission to form his first political action committee he named the Eagle PAC.

Israel remains a key issue in the 10th, where it’s a given the contenders are pro-Israel.

Nowhere was this more on display than last week, when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint meeting of Congress and AIPAC – the American Israel Public Affairs Committee – at its annual policy conference here.

Both Dold and Schneider worked the AIPAC precincts over several days; the gathering was full of potential donors and supporters for both of them.

Dold was tapped by the Republican leaders to be one of Netanyahu’s escort down the aisle of the House chamber, a position which put him smack dab in camera view, right behind the prime minister. Schneider, using floor privileges given to former members, was also in the House chamber for Netanyahu’s speech.

Schneider was in Israel in December and Dold has a trip planned to Israel for this spring. Last month, Schneider was part of a Jewish Federation of North America trip to Paris, meeting with French Jewish leaders in the wake of terrorist murders at a kosher market.

Dold spokesman James Slepian told me in an email, “Regardless of who he faces in 2016, Congressman Dold will be well-prepared to run another spirited and successful campaign as a voice for the entire 10th District, not just one political party.”

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