Adlai Stevenson III drops Schneider for Rotering over Iran deal

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WASHINGTON — Former Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., lost another high-profile endorser over his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, with former Sen. Adlai Stevenson III, D-Ill., switching to his Democratic primary rival, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering.

Stevenson joins Abner Mikva — a former House member, Bill Clinton White House counsel and federal judge — in dropping Schneider over the Iran nuclear agreement.

Rotering and Schneider are in a battle to take on Rep. Bob Dold, R-Ill., in the north suburban swing 10th Congressional District.

Stevenson is a member of one of the most famous Democratic political families in Illinois with deep ties to the 10th district. His great-grandfather was Vice President Adlai Ewing Stevenson.

The Adlai E. Stevenson II High School in Lincolnshire, a major high school in the district, is named after the former senator’s father, who ran for president in 1952 and 1956 after serving as Illinois governor and United Nations ambassador.

In 2014, the family home in Mettawa, near Libertyville — also in the 10th district — was designated a national landmark. Mettawa is the home of the Adlai Stevenson Center for Democracy, which the former senator chairs.

Stevenson represented Illinois in the Senate from Nov. 17, 1970, to Jan. 3, 1981. Before that, he was the Illinois state treasurer. After leaving Congress, Stevenson ran for governor in 1982 and 1986.


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Mikva, who represented the 10th when he was in the House, and Stevenson’s stamp of approval for Rotering potentially means a lot to Democrats on the fence and who are looking for guidance.

It also helps Rotering because Schneider launched his comeback bid — he lost to Dold in 2014 — with the backing of much of the Democratic political establishment and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“I am endorsing Nancy Rotering because America needs more statesmen and fewer politicians,” Stevenson said in a statement provided to the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Nancy is a hardworking and independent public servant who has a strong record of doing what’s right for the people she serves,” Stevenson said.

“I am disappointed that Brad Schneider abandoned the President of the United States on a critical issue of global security and American authority in the world,” he said. “He joined the ranks of those who offer no alternative to the Iran deal that was negotiated in concert with all the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany.”

Rotering also picked up the support of Stevenson’s wife, Nancy Stevenson, who was the CEO of Voices for Illinois Children.

“I am honored to have earned the endorsement of Adlai and Nancy Stevenson,” Nancy Rotering said in a statement.

“The Stevensons are leaders who have dedicated their lives to advocacy and democracy. They understand the value of rigorous diplomacy as the first approach to protect us here at home and globally, both today and for future generations. I am proud to have their support,” she said.

Schneider senior adviser Valerie Martin said, “There is room in our party for disagreement on important issues. As ever, Brad remains focused on doing the right thing, regardless of politics.”

Martin noted that just last Wednesday, a Schneider fundraising appeal went out under the name of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

The differences between Rotering and Schneider over the Iran nuclear deal have surfaced as the main issue between the two Democrats.

In 2014, neither Schneider nor Dold, who won the seat for a term in 2012, had a primary opponent.

In the 2012 Democratic primary, Schneider won the nomination with only 22.5 percent of the vote, needing only a plurality in what was a five-man field.

The dynamics are different in the March 2016 contest, where so far Schneider is facing a one-on-one.

Follow Lynn Sweet on Twitter: @LynnSweet

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