Republican: Mark Kirk (Incumbent)
Democrat: Dan Seals (Consultant and college professor)
Illinois Democrats are once again excited about a young African-American politician, Dan Seals, who is running against incumbent Mark Kirk in a rematch of their 2006 race, when Kirk won the northern Illinois district 53% to 46%. Seals made headlines several weeks ago by subsidizing gasoline to motorists at $1.85 a gallon, the price when Kirk was first elected in 2000. The event was so popular that it caused huge backups, and local police sent Seals' campaign a $2,200 bill for the traffic tie-up. Overall, Seals has remained competitive in fundraising. The race has been markedly bitter, with both candidates heavily lobbying Jewish voters, while accusing each other of "being bought" by special interests.
2004 Presidential Vote: Kerry 53%, Bush 47%-James Downie and Marti Covington/Washington