WASHINGTON — Democratic icon Abner Mikva switched his endorsement to Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering in the north suburban 10th Congressional District primary, dropping former Rep. Brad Schneider because he is opposing the Iran nuclear deal.
The pickup is important for Rotering because much of the Democratic establishment — in Illinois and Washington — endorsed Schneider’s comeback bid.
The 10th district has a large Jewish vote, and support for Israel is a given. Indeed, candidates of both parties in the 10th for years have competed to outdo themselves as champions of Israel’s security.
In 2014, Schneider and Rep. Bob Dold, R-Ill., fought over who was the bigger hawk when it came to Israel.
The political landscape is different in 2016 for Schneider, who has to get through a primary. Rotering is going after Schneider from the left, looking to rally progressive Democrats to her side.
Rotering told me she called Mikva after Schneider proclaimed his opposition to the Iran deal in a Times of Israel column. Mikva is popular with progressives. He once represented the 10th — and is a former federal judge, counsel to President Bill Clinton and member of the Illinois General Assembly.
As a result of the call, Mikva invited Rotering to lunch at the Cliff Dwellers Club of Chicago.
In an “open letter” to Schneider, Mikva wrote,”When you first asked for my support, you assured me that you would not be dominated by AIPAC’s and Benjamin Netanyahu’s view on Iran. I signed on to your campaign in good faith, but have since been compelled to reconsider. I was disappointed when you came out against the Iran agreement, opposing your president and your party.”
Schneider senior adviser Valerie Martin said, “Good Democrats don’t always agree on every issue. And on an issue of this magnitude, Brad’s decisions are, and always will be, based on principles and understanding of the issues, not politics.”