From The Loop

Trapped in the Loop, the views of one Chicagoan manage to escape.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Duckworth Defeats Cegelis

Chicago Tribune | Disabled Iraq war vet wins

Christine Cegelis came up short in her race with Tammy Duckworth to be the Democrat Party participant in the 6th Congressional District of Illinois.

It was unclear how this race would turn out for the Democrats. Cegelis was the political veteran in the race as she performed adamently in the 2004 election against the Republican incumbant Henry Hyde. Cegelis was the beneficiary of the Presidential ticket on the same ballot as John Kerry easily best President Bush in the race for Illinois' electoral votes. District support was strong for Cegelis since she is from the district and has a working group of district veterans assisting her campaign.

Duckworth was the outsider in the race. An insert courtesy of Rahm Emanuel's chairmanship of the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee. A veteran of the Iraq War, she was brought into the race to give Democrats credibility in their buildup to criticize the White House for its handling of the war and to attack the Republicans in the Congress for not providing adequate oversight of the White House for its mistakes. Duckworth has no political experience at all. She raised little money from within the district. And she doesn't live in the 6th District. She meets every definition of a political transplant.

The 6th District Democrats still voted for her though as Duckworth won by 3 percentage points. I am curious if there were any crossover votes by Republicans in this district to vote for Cegelis or Duckworth. It's unlikely since there was a primary vote for a number of Republican races, most importantly for Governor.

Rahm's got his girl in the race, but the 6th District still is not left of center so the battle is still uphill. Duckworth touted her Planned Parenthood endorsements in the primary. We'll have to wait and see if she even talks about abortion in the general election campaign against Republican Peter Roskam.

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