In the 2012 election, the Republicans lost their short-lived majority in the state's congressional delegation to the Democrats when Republicans Joe Walsh, Judy Biggert, Bobby Schilling, and Bob Dold fell to Democrats Tammy Duckworth, Bill Foster, Cheri Bustos and Brad Schneider. Currently there are eleven Democrats and seven Republicans representing Illinois in the U.S. House.
But before they can focus on Democrats, seven Republican races must be decided by voters on March 18th, 2014.
In the 3rd Congressional District, Orland Park's Sharon Brannigan is facing Chicago's Diane Harris for the Republican spot to challenge Democrat incumbent Congressman Dan Lipinski.
In the 8th CD Republican primary, Aurora resident Manju Goel is likely to sustain petition challenges to face Marine veteran Larry Kaifesh of Carpentersville for a chance to knock off Democrat incumbent Tammy Duckworth.
Navy veteran David Earl Williams II is opposing Susanne Atanus to be the Republican in the 9th CD that challenges Chicago Democrat incumbent Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.
In the 11th CD, five Republicans - Caterpillar executive Chris Balkema, Illinois Manufacturer Association's pick Bert Miller, State Rep. Darlene Senger, radio talk show host Ian Bayne and Craig Robbins - are vying for a chance to take on Democrat incumbent Congressman Bill Foster in November.
In the 15th, Republican incumbent Congressman Rodney Davis is being challenged by former Miss America Ericka Harold and little known candidate named Michael Firsching.
Rockford Tea Party leader David Hale is challenging Republican incumbent Congressman Adam Kinzinger in the 16th CD.
Although there's a petition objection pending against 17th CD Republican Eric Reyes, ousted Congressman Bobby Schilling is running in the March 18th primary to challenge Democrat incumbent Congresswoman Cheri Bustos in November 2014.
Republicans are hoping to sustain their majority in the U.S. House and perhaps gain a majority in the U.S. Senate in 2014.