By Doug Pitorak, contributing writer
For the first time in more than 30 years a Democrat won Illinois’ 10th Congressional District.
Democrat Brad Schneider defeated incumbent Robert Dold in a race that proved to be the closest of all the Illinois congressional elections.
Illinois Democrats approved a remapping of the districts after the 2010 census that partly aimed to give the party a better chance at winning the 10th district, which had been dominated by Republicans for decades.
Apparently the remapping worked.
“Welcome to the new 10th district,” said Schneider during his victory speech at the Hilton in Northbrook, Ill. “Tonight, together, we sent a message to this Tea Party Congress. Tonight, the ads are finally off our TVs.”
A sure winner didn’t emerge until all but two Cook County precincts turned in their results, making this race the closest of all the Illinois congressional elections.
In Lake County, where the district is located, Schneider trailed by roughly 5,000 votes, even after all 309 precincts in the county were accounted for. Missing from the picture, however, were early ballot votes.
Just before 10 p.m., the Lake County Clerk website included early ballot votes to its totals, which pushed Schneider past Dold. This news, along with the news of Democrats consistently winning Senate seat, reinvigorated Schneider supporters.
“Tonight looks like a great night for Democrats,” said Lauren Beth Gash, chair of the Tenth Congressional District Democrats.
At the time of this article, the results of the two remaining Cook County precincts have not been reported, but without those numbers, Schneider lead Dold by 2,434 votes.
Nevertheless, a relieved Schneider gave his constituents a simple message: “We did it.”