Walsh To Challenge Hultgren In 14th Congressional District
Republican Congressman Joe Walsh announced Wednesday that he will seek election in the 14th District.
Republican Joe Walsh will not represent Palatine after the 2012 election.
Walsh, a freshman Congressman, has decided to seek election in the 14th District where he will face incumbent Randy Hultgren. Walsh was left with several choices – all of them problematic politically – after the boundaries of congressional districts were redrawn.
The redistricting process was controlled by state Democrats. Republicans are challenging the maps in court.
"This is his best opportunity to continue to represent a large number of his constituents," said Walsh spokesperson Justin Roth.
In 2012, most of Palatine will be in the 6th District where Republican Peter Roskam will seek re-election. A portion of the east side of Palatine will be in the new 8th congressional district, which will have no incumbent seeking election.
Walsh's McHenry area home was placed in the 14th District. Roth said that the district also includes a large number of Walsh's current constituents.
Hultgren issued a statement shortly after Walsh announced his decision.
"I’m disappointed that the Congressman from the 8th District has decided to abandon his own district to run against me in a primary," Hultgren stated. "By doing so, he’s playing into the hands of the Springfield Democrats and Nancy Pelosi, who have drawn the Congressional map for Illinois specifically to encourage just such a contest."
However, Roth said the new 8th District bore little resemblance to the district Walsh now serves. Also, although congressional candidates do not have to live in the district they represent, Walsh's home now is in the 14th.
Walsh's other options were to take on Roskam in the new 6th District, take on fellow Republican Robert Dold in the 10th District, or campaign in the new 8th District that now contains few of Walsh's current constituents.
Roth said people are too hung up on the numbers Democrats assigned to the new districts and that geographically the 14th is as much Walsh's home district as Hultgren's.