South Suburban Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson is in a tough race to win reelection in the 11th Congressional District. She’s not only fighting a Republican challenger, political newcomer Adam Kinzinger; she’s fighting history, too.
Illinois’ 11th Congressional district begins just south of Chicago and stretches westward – almost to the Quad Cities. The district’s southern border is near Bloomington-Normal. For years, the stretch of suburbs, mid-sized cities and farmland has leaned toward the GOP.. If Halvorson wins reelection to her second term in Congress, she’ll have to do it without financial support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Besides donating services to Halvorson’s campaign for this race, the committee hasn’t given her actual cash.
But Halvorson says, that’s OK.
“We haven’t gotten one dollar but I’ve never asked for any,” Halvorson told WBEZ.“We’ve completely funded this ourselves; very proud not to have not sought one dollar from the D Triple C (DCCC) or from big business, because that’s not who I represent.”
Halvorson, 52, of Crete, spent part of Thursday afternoon in Joliet speaking to a group of retired steelworkers.
Earlier in the day, she was with Gov. Pat Quinn, who announced Illinois will receive $32 million in federal stimulus funding for one-stop facility for buses and trains in Joliet.
The 52-year-old former state senator says she feels momentum is starting to build for her campaign, despite criticism from conservative pundits
And, a poll released earlier this month by the Hill, a Washington, D.C. newspaper, showed Halvorson trailing Kinzinger by 18 points.
“We’re fighting hard. We knew this would be tough from day one,” Halvorson said. “Maybe the DCCC are looking at polls but I’m not. The only poll that matters to me is the one on Election Day.”
Meanwhile, Kinzinger, of Manteno, is trying to win the district that elected Halvorson two years ago, following the departure of longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Jerry Weller. Weller had retired following an ethics scandal.
Kinzinger, a 32-year-old former Air Force pilot who grew up in Bloomington, is receiving a lot of support from local tea party members.
A teaparty rally was held Wednesday night in Homer Glen that featured Kinzinger and Bill Brady, the Republican nominee for governor. The rally attracted hundreds of suburban voters to the Elite/Mega Plex .