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|18th District Race Guarantees a New Winner
|After the dust clears in the 18th Congressional District, this much is certain: the winner will go to Washington as a freshman.
With U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Peoria) not seeking an eighth term, the candidates are Democrat Colleen Callahan, State Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Peoria), and the Green Party's Sheldon Schafer. All three live in the Peoria area. The district includes Peoria , Jacksonville, part of Springfield, and a portion of Knox County.
Schock wants to continue nearly a century of Republican representation in the district. He says he has proven his strengths as a school board president and as a state representative, even being in a minority party. He says he led all freshmen in the Illinois House in passing bills during his first term in Springfield . He says the congressional duties are similar to what he is already doing in the Statehouse, and adds he is the only one in the race with experience in elected office.
Callahan, who spent more than 30 years on Peoria and Champaign airwaves as a farm broadcaster, drew criticism during the campaign when she suggested the military draft be reinstated. She modified that position to recommend some form of service for everyone. She is also going negative in a TV spot reminiscent of Lyndon Johnson's 1964 "Daisy" commercial, in criticizing Schock's early comment that the U.S. should give nuclear weapons to Taiwan, a statement Schock has retracted. An unapologetic Callahan says, "The truth hurts."
Sheldon Schafer, director of the planetarium at Peoria's Lakeview Museum, is the Green Party candidate. He says he's enjoying the opportunity to educate people about the party, and adds voters in the district seem to welcome a new, independent voice. He says his own public service started in the Peace Corps. He says he draws a smile when he tells people he's the candidate without any money.
Election Day is Nov. 4, though early voting is now under way.
CLICK HERE for Aaron Schock's campaign website.
CLICK HERE for Colleen Callahan's campaign website.
CLICK HERE for Sheldon Schaefer's campaign website.
(Source: Illinois Radio Network)
|10 13 08 by Newsroom
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