His Democratic opponent in that contest, business consultant Dan Seals, is seeking a rematch after taking a respectable 47 percent of the vote — and holding Kirk to a subpar 53 percent — in his 2006 debut as a political candidate.
But Seals first must fend off the primary opposition provided by Jay Footlik, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, who has a background in international affairs, and who says that he is the more experienced and electable Democratic candidate.
The preponderance of the evidence suggests that most prospective Democratic primary voters in the 10th District want to give Seals a second try. Seals’ apparent edge owes to multiple factors. He has carryover name recognition from his 2006 campaign. He showed strong fundraising ability by amassing almost $2 million for his campaign that year, despite limited assistance from a national Democratic Party organization that was skeptical of the newcomer’s ability to upset an incumbent who had won with 64 percent in 2004.[...]
Seals’ front-runner status also is evident in how the two candidates are running their campaigns. Footlik has been more eager to draw attention to differences between himself and Seals. Conversely, Seals has been running more of a general election campaign, focusing much more on differences between him and Kirk rather than between him and Footlik.
The race will coincide with Illinois’ presidential primary election, in which the main contestants are Barack Obama of Chicago, the state’s other U.S. senator, and New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton , who grew up in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge. That, in turn, will spawn much higher turnout for the state’s congressional primary contests, including that in the 10th: The Seals-Footlik primary will draw substantially more than the 33,000 voters who participated in the 2006 10th District Democratic primary, in which Seals defeated little-known Democrat Zane Smith by 71 percent to 29 percent.[...]
Footlik, though, is emphasizing experience in government — like Clinton, who has said she is ready to be president on day one. Footlik points to his extensive background in Middle East affairs. He specialized in that region’s politics and government as an assistant to President Clinton and as an adviser to the 2004 presidential campaign of John Kerry (who was narrowly favored over President Bush by 10th District voters). And he hopes this will be a major selling point in a district with a large Jewish constituency, of which he is a member.
Footlik also promotes his work with an organization that promotes energy independence.
“Anyone can talk about delivering change, and everyone is talking about it — every politician. He’s talked about it, I’ve done it,” Footlik said. “I can’t say I’ve changed the world, but I’ve certainly taken decisions and created organizations and worked on issues that have tried to make a difference and have actually produced tangible results.”
“I think there’s a big distinction there between someone who talks about it and someone who’s actually done it,” Footlik added.
Footlik also is emphasizing a personal background that includes growing up with a mother who once needed food stamps and welfare benefits, and attending college with the assistance of loans. “When I speak, I speak from a very, very personal perspective,” Footlik said, “and I think that they see that it’s genuine and sincere and personal, and I think they understand that’s a good combination and a good way to beat Mark Kirk.”
“And my primary opponent hasn’t done that,” Footlik added. “He’s already tried and failed.”
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
A very strange comparison to say the least...
CQPolitics compares the IL-10 race in Illinois to that of the Obama-Clinton race. It's interesting to note though that Seals worked for Joe Lieberman and yet he mentions that at no point on his website.