The Democratic race to represent the North suburban 10th District in Congress is beginning to heat up with state Rep. Julie Hamos entering the field today.
Hamos, a five-term Democrat from Evanston, is the second state lawmaker hoping to move up to the federal level with the exit of U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican, as he makes a statewide bid for senate.
Freshman state Sen. Michael Bond, a Grayslake Democrat, announced earlier this summer he is running for the seat, while state Sen. Terry Link, a Waukegan Democrat, has told the Daily Herald he is seriously contemplating a run of his own.
Hamos is set to officially announce her bid at an afternoon news conference in Highland Park. She is hoping to show strong support from political figures in the district. Those scheduled to be in attendance to support her include Buffalo Grove Mayor Elliot Hartstein, Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, state Rep. Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook and state Sens. Jeff Schoenberg, of Evanston, and Susan Garrett, of Lake Forest.
Meanwhile, the real competition in the ever-growing Democratic primary field will be for national attention.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which pumps millions of dollars into races, is watching the 10th District closely, hoping to win it from Republicans in a midterm election that traditionally sees the ruling party lose seats.
Stretching from Skokie and Arlington Heights to Waukegan and Grayslake, the 10th District traditionally votes for Democratic presidents, but it has also elected Kirk five times. In the last two elections, Democrat Dan Seals lost with about 47 percent of the vote.
Seals may run for a third time, but he has been noncommital so far. Petitions to get on the ballot are set to be circulated in August for the February primary.
Other declared candidates include Republican Patricia Bird of Mount Prospect and Democrat Elliott Richardson of Highland Park.
Potential candidates include Republican state Rep. Elizabeth Coulson of Glenview and Highland Park City Councilman Jim Kirsch, a Democrat.