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Schneider surges past Rep. Dold in 10th Congressional District

10th Congressional District

10th Congressional District

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 10th Congressional District

Updated: January 6, 2013 10:12AM

Freshman U.S. Rep. Bob Dold was trailing Democratic challenger Brad Schneider late Tuesday — with fewer than 2,00 votes separating them.

With all but 14 precincts reporting, Schneider was on the verge of pulling off an upset and sending the incumbent Republican packing after just one term.

Dold, a moderate, was remapped into a Democratic-leaning, north suburban district. At one point Tuesday, he appeared to be heading toward re-election.

But as votes from the Lake County portion of the district came in, Schneider narrowly surged past him.

The remaining precincts, however, were in Cook County, closer to Dold’s home turf in Kenilworth.

“This is a close race no matter how you look at it — and we always knew it was going to be a close race,” said Dold spokesman John McGovern.

Their battle for the 10th Congressional District seat had been one of the most hotly contested — and costly — congressional races in the country.

Dold has stressed his moderate credentials and independence in striving to hold onto a district that has been represented by a Republican for 30 years.

But after a congressional remap controlled by Democrats, Dold’s new district contains about 60 percent of its former area and has lost some traditionally GOP bastions along the North Shore.

But Dold raised nearly $3 million to help hold onto the district, even airing TV commercials noting he agreed with President Barack Obama on the need to avoid raising taxes on middle-class families. An analysis by Congressional Quarterly showed that in 2011, Dold voted in support of Obama more than any other Republican in the House.

Schneider, who raised more than $1.6 million and used former President Bill Clinton to make automated phone calls on his behalf, pounded Dold as a Tea Party sympathizer who voted against key Obama administration programs.

Those include voting to repeal the president’s national healthcare plan, said Schneider, who has loudly backed the health-care changes.

Dold ridiculed claims that he is a Tea Party favorite, pointing to endorsements from organizations that include the Illinois Education Association and the National Education Association to show he’s not a member of that hard-core GOP faction.

And Dold has used the term Affordable Care Act rather than “Obamacare,” in referring to the health-care plan.

He has said he would like to see more compromise in the health plan, including not banning people from getting coverage if they have pre-existing conditions. He also has said he thinks it “makes sense” to keep children on their parents’ health insurance plans until they’re 26 — another component of the president’s plan.

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