North suburban Democrats had to decide Tuesday whether energy or experience could defeat their incumbent Republican congressman in November — and maybe turn the recently red seat blue again.
They chose management consultant Brad Schneider, who had done the job before.
With all 411 precincts reporting, Schneider had 50,103 votes, to 43,062 votes for Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering — a 54-to-46-percent margin, according to unofficial returns reported by the Associated Press.
Schneider had won the 10th District congressional seat in 2012, beating Bob Dold; but he lost to Dold in 2014.
Based on Schneider declared victory at his campaign party in Deerfield as well as on Twitter: “Thank you to all of you who made this possible. Onward to victory November! #IL10”
Tuesday night, Rotering did not concede defeat, saying through a campaign spokeswoman, “At the moment, we are still waiting for early voting results and do not have a conclusion. When we have all of the results, I will respect the judgment of the voters.”
The candidates, who spent the primary season sniping at each other, did not speak to each other Tuesday evening, both of their campaigns confirmed.
November’s contest in the independent north suburban district, which has flip-flopped in recent years, is expected to draw millions in outside money as one of the two highly educated, Jewish candidates faces Dold. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has taken notice of the race, and already named Schneider to its “Red to Blue” list of candidates it thinks can win seats from sitting Republicans.
The 10th District stretches up the North Shore from Winnetka through Waukegan to the Wisconsin line, west as far as Fox Lake and encompasses Mundelein, Buffalo Grove and parts of Mount Prospect and Des Plaines.
The biggest divide between the candidates, both 54, is Iran, a major issue in their district, where a large Jewish population champions great support for Israel’s security.
Schneider publicly spoke out against the president’s Iran agreement, and it cost him the support of several major Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, former White House counsel Abner Mikva and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky.
Meanwhile, two longtime congressional incumbents did not appear to be in any danger of losing their jobs to challengers.
With 434 precincts of 445 counted in Chicago and Cook County, Northwest Side U.S. Rep. Luiz Gutierrez, D-Ill., was declared the winner over radio personality Javier Salas 75 percent to 25 percent. And West Side U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., bested challenger Thomas Day, 81 percent to 19 percent, with 575 of 597 precincts counted.
In an unusual Green Party primary to determine who will challenge U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., in November, well-known atheist Rob Sherman of Buffalo Grove and remodeling contractor Warren “Grizz” Grimsley of Chicago faced off.
With 571 precincts of 585 total reporting across Chicago, suburban Cook County and DuPage County, Sherman appeared to take the lead Tuesday night, with 60 percent of the vote compared with 40 percent for Grimsley. Just 241 Green ballots were cast in the race.