CHICAGO - Two Republican congressional challengers from Illinois received good news Thursday - Darlene Senger was endorsed by a national small business group and Bob Dold's bid to oust Brad Schneider was upgraded from a "Leans Democrat" district to a "Toss-up."
Senger, challenging Democrat Congressman Bill Foster in the 11th CD, was endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Businesses' B SAFE (Save America's Free Enterprise) Trust, the association's political action committee.
“Our members support the candidates who support small business, and there's no doubt that Darlene Senger will stand up for Illinois' small, family businesses in Congress just as she has in the state Legislature," said Lisa Goeas, NFIB vice president for Political and Grassroots. Senger earned a 100 percent NFIB/Illinois voting record in the 2011-12 session of the Legislature.
Republican Bob Dold's challenge of freshman Congressman Brad Schneider leaned Democrat until this week, when Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the nationally recognized nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report that analyzes Congressional races, moved the race for the Illinois 10th District between Bob Dold (R-10) and Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) to a Toss-up.
The ratings shift in Dold's direction caps off a rough week for Brad Schneider, during which FEC reports revealed that Dold also outraised the incumbent in the latest reporting period. The post-primary reports from Feb. 27 – March 31 show that Dold outperformed Schneider, raising $395,000 during that period, compared to $358,000 by the incumbent. Throughout the entire first quarter, Dold raised over $520,000 and reported approximately $1.3 million cash on hand – all but evening out the cash race despite the incumbent Schneider's six-month head start in fundraising.
Additionally, in another sign of Schneider's crumbling confidence in his campaign, the last several FEC reports reveal that Rep. Schneider has quietly taken donors’ money from his campaign coffers in $25,000 increments each quarter to repay himself $100,000 in loans from his 2012 campaign.
“Brad Schneider must be nervous, and he should be. During his cameo as a Congressman, he's managed to get rated as one of the least effective legislators in Washington while remaining equally as invisible to his constituents here in the 10th District,” said Dold for Congress campaign manager James Slepian.
“The Rothenberg Political Report’s latest rating change is just further confirmation of the growing momentum within the 10th District to replace an inept, hyper-partisan Washington politician with the independent, effective and accountable leadership that Bob Dold demonstrated."