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. (April 2015)
The 2006 congressional elections in Illinois were held on November 7, 2006 to determine who will represent the state of Illinois in the United States House of Representatives.
Illinois has nineteen seats in the House, apportioned according to the 2000 United States Census. Representatives are elected for two-year terms; those elected will serve in the 110th Congress from January 3, 2007 until January 3, 2009.
|United States House of Representatives elections in Illinois, 2006
This district, one of the most heavily Democratic in Illinois and the country, has been represented by Democratic Congressman Bobby Rush since his initial election in 1992. This district is known for having the largest percentage of African-Americans of all congressional districts nationwide; true to the nature of this district, Rush is an African-American. Facing Republican nominee Jason Tabour, Rush easily achieved an eighth term in Congress.
Initially elected in a special election in 1995 to replace disgraced Congressman Mel Reynolds, Jesse Jackson, Jr. has been subsequently re-elected by wide margins in this very liberal district, based in the southeastern portion of Chicago and some of the southern Chicagoan suburbs. This election proved to be no different, and Jackson stomped Republican opponent Robert Belin and Libertarian opponent Anthony Williams to win another term.
In this solidly liberal district, based in the southwestern territory of Chicago and western suburbs of Chicago, has a record of sending socially conservative Democrats to Congress—incumbent Democratic Congressman Dan Lipinski has proved no different. Following the retirement of his father, long-serving Congressman Bill Lipinski, Dan Lipinski was elected to Congress in 2004 and faced his first re-election campaign in 2006. Lipinski easily defeated Republican challenger Raymond Wardingley to win a second term.
This strangely gerrymandered district connects a northern section that is primarily composed of Puerto Ricans and a southern section that is made up of Mexican-Americans to achieve a Hispanic-American majority district. Staunchly in the Democratic column, this district has continually sent incumbent Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez back to Congress by overwhelming margins. Seeking his eighth term, Gutierrez ultimately overwhelmed Republican challenger Ann Melichar in a landslide.
This district, currently located in the North Side of Chicago and the western Chicagoan suburbs, has been represented by, among others, Stephen A. Douglas and Rod Blagojevich before current Democratic Congressman Rahm Emanuel assumed office in 2002. Emanuel faced no real challenge from Republican opponent Kevin White due to the district’s strong tendency towards the Democratic Party and was re-elected to a third term.
Long-serving incumbent Republican Congressman Henry Hyde declined to seek a seventeenth term in this moderate district based in the Chicago suburbs in DuPage County and Cook County, creating an open seat. State Senator Peter Roskam emerged as the Republican nominee while disabled Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth became the Democratic nominee. In a close election marked by special appearances from well-known politicians like John McCain, George W. Bush, and Dennis Hastert, Roskam ultimately edged out Duckworth by a thin margin.
Incumbent Democratic Congressman Danny K. Davis opted to run for a sixth term in the House of Representatives and did not face a serious challenge in this solidly liberal district based in southern and western Chicago and the western Chicagoan suburbs. Davis swamped Republican challenger Charles Hutchinson with well over eighty percent of the vote, securing another term in this African-American majority district.
In 2004, Melissa Bean scored an upset, defeating long-time incumbent Congressman Phil Crane, and she became the first Democratic representative from the district since its creation in 1935 even though President George W. Bush carried the district by a large margin. In 2006, Congresswoman Bean sought a second term and was opposed by investment banker David McSweeney. Though some anticipated a close race, Bean outlasted McSweeney by a comfortable margin, considering the district’s moderate nature.
Incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, seeking her fifth term in Congress, did not face a serious challenge in this consistently liberal district based in the North Side of Chicago and the northern Chicagoan suburbs. True to the district’s history of electing Democrats, Schakowsky slammed Republican opponent Michael Shannon with nearly seventy-five percent of the vote.
Initially elected in 2000, incumbent Republican Congressman Mark Kirk built a reputation as being a moderate Republican, the kind of Republican that this liberal-leaning district in the northern suburbs of Chicago would elect. Facing off against Democratic challenger and businessman Dan Seals, Kirk experienced a serious challenge. Seals was able to remain competitive against Kirk for most of the campaign, abetted by the Democratic wave sweeping the country, but he ultimately fell to the incumbent Republican and lost by around thirteen thousand votes and seven points.
In this conservative-leaning, heavily gerrymandered district, incumbent Republican Congressman Jerry Weller experienced a more serious challenge from Democratic challenger John Pavich than he was used to. The 11th stretches from the southern suburbs of Chicago to Bureau County and then dips down into Bloomington and Normal. True to the district’s conservative tilt, however, Weller defeated Pavich by a fairly solid margin on election day.
This liberal-leaning district based in southern Illinois and the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis has consistently given Democratic incumbent Congressman Jerry Costello solid re-elections ever since he was initially elected in a 1988 special election. Seeing as he faced no challenge this year other than a few write-in votes, Costello was a shoo-in for re-election and received nearly one hundred percent of the vote.
In this compact district based in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, incumbent Republican Congresswoman Judy Biggert sought a fifth term. Biggert has typically enjoyed wide margins of victory in this moderately conservative district, and this year proved no different. Biggert defeated Democratic challenger Joseph Shannon by a seventeen-point margin—a wide margin, no doubt, but thinner than what Biggert received before.
Incumbent Republican Congressman Dennis Hastert, the Speaker of the House since 1999, has represented this conservative-leaning district since his initial election in 1986. Hastert faced off against Democratic challenger John Laesch in the general election, and, true to this northern Illinois district’s conservative history, defeated him by a wide margin.
Incumbent Republican Congressman Tim Johnson, who has represented this district since 2000, sought a fourth term this year. The 15th district, which includes much of eastern Illinois and stretches into southern Illinois, is one of the most conservative districts in Illinois, and as such, Johnson did not experience a particularly tough challenge from Democratic opponent David Gill.
In this conservative-leaning district based in northern Illinois, incumbent Republican Congressman Donald Manzullo has not experienced a serious challenge since his initial election in 1992, and this year proved no different. Manzullo crushed Democratic opponent Richard Auman and independent challenger John Borling with nearly sixty-five percent of the vote and won an eighth term in Congress.
This strangely shaped district constitutes much of western and central Illinois and was gerrymandered to protect incumbent Democratic Congressman Lane Evans. Evans planned on seeking a thirteenth term in Congress this year, but was forced to retire due to the increasingly debilitating effect s of Parkinson's disease. Evans’s longtime Chief-of-Staff, Phil Hare, was selected as the Democratic nominee in his place and faced off against previous Congressional candidate and former television reporter Andrea Zinga in the general election, which he won handily.
This solidly conservative district based in western and central Illinois has been represented by incumbent Republican Congressman Ray LaHood since 1995 and has consistently given him comfortable margins of re-election. This year, despite the anti-Republican sentiment nationwide, LaHood was able to swamp Democratic opponent Steve Waterworth with nearly seventy percent of the vote.
This district, the most conservative in Illinois, is composed mainly of southern Illinois, but is also gerrymandered to include Springfield and a small sliver in western Illinois. Incumbent Republican Congressman John Shimkus, seeking a sixth term, faced off against Democratic opponent Danny Stover. Shimkus played a prominent role in the Mark Foley scandal; he knew of embattled Congressman Foley's controversial activities as the Chairman of the House Page Board and did not take action against Foley. Despite this, Shimkus ultimately swamped Stover on election day, winning over sixty percent of the vote and another term in Congress.