As U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth prepares to run for reelection to a seat where an incumbent has not won reelection since 1986, potential challengers making themselves known
First term U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D, Hoffman Estates) prepares for her reelection campaign kickoff later this month.
The Senate seat she occupies has not been won by an incumbent seeking reelection since 1986. Since then, incumbents:
- 1992: Senator Alan Dixon lost the Democratic primary to Cook County Recorder of Deeds Carol Moseley Braun
- 1998: Senator Carol Moseley Braun lost her reelection bid to Republican state Senator Peter Fitzgerald
- 2004: After threats of Republican primary challengers due to recommending President Bush to nominate Patrick Fitzgerald (no relation) U.S. Attorney for the northern district, Senator Peter Fitzgerald bows out, paving the way for Democrat state Senator Barack Obama’s election and eventually 2 terms as the President of the United States four years later
- 2010: Appointed incumbent Democrat Senator Roland Burris did not seek bid for election in the Democrat primary, which state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias won, and lost in the general to 5-term Republican Congressman Mark Kirk
- 2016: Senator Mark Kirk lost his reelection bid to Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth
Through today, four Republicans have submitted Statements of Candidacy with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to run for U.S. Senate in 2022.
While filing with the FEC does not mean filing nominating petitions for the March 15 Republican primary this November, it is likely some if not all 4 Republican candidates will be in attendance at Saturday’s McHenry County Republican Party’s Lincoln Leadership Dinner in Crystal Lake.
While none of the candidates would be considered top-tier (current or former elective public official countywide, IL General Assembly or Congress), in the paraphrased words of Apollo Creed from the 1976 movie Rocky, without a top-tier Republican, what Duckworth needs to face is a novelty.
Meet the candidates in order of filing with the FEC for 2022:
Peggy Hubbard ran in 2020 for U.S. Senate, finishing a distant 2nd behind primary winner former Sheriff Mark Curran.
Allison Salinas is from downstate Pekin and this is her first run for public office.
From downstate West Frankfort, Arview declared his candidacy in early April.
Rob Cruz is the only Republican candidate thus far from the Chicago suburbs (Oak Lawn), and the only candidate elected to local public office, winning election last month to the Oak Lawn Community High School District #229 school board, coming in 3rd in a 5-candidate race where top 4 win.
Only one other candidate has filed with the FEC to challenge Duckworth, a 3rd party candidate (“George Wallace Party”) named Daniel Obama Hauskins from Quad Cities (Rock Island).
From the desk of John Lopez: Of the four Republicans at this early stage, Cruz appears to be the one who could breakout from the pack. According to a Friend of McHenry County Blog, Cruz’s campaign is being managed by Will County Republican Chairman George Pearson.
Also, Cruz has a big fundraiser scheduled for May 25, and on the 28th kicking off the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Cruz will be featured with two McHenry County residents seeking office next year, gubernatorial candidate Gary Rabine and IL-16 congressional candidate Catalina Lauf at an event with Scott Presler as the special guest.
Time will tell if a top-tier Republican current/former officeholder is recruited or steps forward to seek the nomination for U.S. Senate.
The 2022 Illinois U.S. Senate race is already rated as “Safe Democrat”.
If the upcoming congressional remap drives one of the 5 Republicans currently serving in the U.S. House from Illinois into the U.S. Senate race, they will immediately move to frontrunner status.
But for now, the Republican field, while not far from set, has four candidates to evaluate over the spring and summer. Salinas is confirmed she will be in Crystal Lake Saturday.
If the remaining candidates are not in attendance, their surrogates/volunteers likely will be.