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10th Dist. candidates back stem cell research, oppose injunction
By Russell Lissau | Daily Herald Staff

Robert Dold, Republican candidate for congress

 

Dan Seals, Democratic candidate for Congress

 

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Published: 8/25/2010 12:06 PM

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In a rare show of election-season bipartisanship, both candidates for the suburban 10th congressional district seat have criticized a federal judge's decision to block federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

In a ruling Monday, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth of Washington, D.C., issued a temporary injunction against Obama administration regulations that had expanded stem cell research.

The decision led to rebukes from 10th District Republican candidate Robert Dold and Democrat Dan Seals. Both issued statements to the media on the matter.

"I support stem cell research and believe we must embrace opportunities for breakthroughs in the field of medicine," said Dold, a first-time candidate and business owner from Kenilworth. "(The) court ruling was a setback to the advancement offered by this promising research, and I hope that the decision will be appealed."

Seals, a business consultant and university lecturer from Wilmette, also voiced support for federal funding of stem cell research, which he called "innovative work."

"(It) could yield effective treatment or cures for millions of Americans who are suffering from debilitating pain and terminal illnesses," said Seals, who is making his third bid for the House seat.

"(The) ruling is very disappointing, and we must work to move beyond this disruption so that scientists can restart their research and patients can regain their hope," Seals added.

Embryonic stem cell research is being used in the search for a cure for a number of conditions, including Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries, heart disease and arthritis.

The decision came in a case involving a Christian group and researchers who'd argued the administration's expansion would decrease the number of human embryos available for adoption.

Lamberth concluded the plaintiffs demonstrated a strong likelihood of success in arguing that the rules violated a law prohibiting the use of federal funds for research in which human embryos are destroyed.

The Justice Department said it will appeal the ruling.

The 10th District includes parts of Cook and Lake counties and stretches from Lake Michigan into the North and Northwest suburbs.

Dold and Seals are vying to replace Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk of Highland Park, who is giving up the seat to run for Senate.

Daily Herald wire services contributed to this report.