Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Congressional race to watch this fall: Illinois' 6th District

Longtime Republican Congressman Henry Hyde, best known for his role as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee during the Bill Clinton impeachment hearings, is retiring after 32 years representing his suburban Chicago district.

In 2004, Hyde's Democratic opponent got 44% of the vote, the highest a Hyde challenger ever achieved.

Naturally the Democrats view the 6th as a good possibility to win a new seat for their side this fall. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin recruited Tammy Duckworth to run for the Democratic nomination in the 6th District. Tammy is an Iraq War veteran who lost both of her legs in action while co-piloting a Blackhawk helicopter. Her right arm was also shattered.

In addition to Durbin, Senators Barack Obama, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton came out for Duckworth in the primary.

Expect a lot of big names visiting Chicago's suburbs this fall stumping for Duckworth.

But Duckworth won't be expecting a cake walk. Her Republican opponent, Peter Roskam, has a $1 million war chest. Duckworth has some baggage--she doesn't live in the district. The epithet "carpetbagger" was tossed at her during the campaign.

UPDATE 8:46PM CST: Brainster has his own insightful analysis of the Duckworth contest.

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