Illinois's 10th congressional district election, 2006
Illinois's 10th congressional district is located in the northern suburbs of Chicago in Cook and Lake counties, along Lake Michigan. Although reliably Republican in past elections, particularly before the latest redistricting, it voted for John Kerry in 2004, which made re-election in 2006 a challenge for Republican incumbent Mark Kirk. In his most difficult race since 2000, he prevailed by a 53% to 47% margin.
Democratic hopes for winning here rose after Melissa Bean's win in the neighboring 8th District, which is more Republican. The Democratic candidate was GE Commercial Finance Director of Marketing Dan Seals. Seals raised $1,918,167 to Kirk's $3,168,367.
Daniel "Dan" Seals is a native of Chicago, he currently lives in Wilmette, Illinois (one half-block outside of the actual 10th district itself) with his wife Mia (maiden name: Miyako Hasegawa) and their three young daughters. Seals taught high school English in Japan before earning a Master's in Public Policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Seals was a Presidential Management Fellow during the Clinton Administration and worked on trade issues to increase overseas markets for U.S. goods. He also spent time on Capitol Hill, serving as a fellow in the office of Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, where his primary focus was on economic development and policy. Seals earned his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. He formerly was on leave from his position as Director of Marketing at GE Commercial Finance while he campaigned full time. He is now self-employed as a consultant.
Seals ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility, pragmatic energy independence solutions, universal access to health care for the 46 million uninsured Americans, and a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
In March 2006, Seals won the Democratic Primary with 70% of the vote.
Mark Kirk is a graduate of Cornell, The London School of Economics, and Georgetown University where he earned his JD. Moreover, Kirk previously worked at the U.S. Department of State, the World Bank, and Baker & McKenzie.
Kirk is the head of the Moderate Republican caucus. He was also Assistant Majority Whip until the Republican Party lost control of the House of Representatives in the November 2006 election. He claims to be fiscally conservative, but pro-choice and pro-environment.
Kirk was endorsed in the 2006 election by all major local newspapers including The Daily Herald, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Lake County News Sun. He was also endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Planned Parenthood.
- 2006 Race: Illinois District 10, Total Raised and Spent OpenSecrets.org
- Official web site - Mark Kirk
- Official web site - Dan Seals
- Daily Kos Profile - Dan Seals
- State Board of Elections Candidate Detail - Dan Seals
- SourceWatch Congresspedia - Dan Seals profile
- Campaign contributions at OpenSecrets.org
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