Congressional Candidates Rush to Claim Front Runner Status

As Tree enters race, Schneider and Sheyman both say they are favorite for Democratic nomination to challenge Dold.

The day after Long Grove businessman  officially joined the Democratic primary field to challenge ,  and  claimed front runner status. 

In addition to Schneider, a Deerfield management consultant, Sheyman, a community organizer from Waukegan and Tree, a United States Air Force Reserve colonel as well as a business owner, Mundelein attorney is seeking his party’s nod. 

Tree became the fourth Democratic candidate to enter the March 20, 2012 primary Thursday when he released his initial message in a video after media outlets, including Patch, broke the story Nov. 9. 

Tree believes his background as a small business owner, a former corporate executive and a seven-year stint as an officer in the Air Force makes him the best candidate to defeat Dold for the 10th Congressional District seat. 

“When you look at the total candidate, I am the right individual to go to Washington and represent this district,” Tree said. “I will be able to work with Republicans to get us out of the mess we’re in.” 

Sheyman Calls Tree Establishment Candidate 

Sheyman believes Tree is the candidate of the political establishment, which is trying to derail his campaign as he has become the self described front runner in the race. He said some forces in the Democratic Party are worried about his commitment to the middle class rather than the power structure. 

“We have built a grass roots campaign with over 350 volunteers and 10,000 donors,” Sheyman said. “They (the establishment) are trying to stop our momentum because we are making them feel uncomfortable. We are the ones standing up for the middle class.” 

This week Sheyman was endorsed by Rep. Danny Davis (D-Chicago). Earlier, Sheyman earned the backing of Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Chicago) as well as the two chairs of the Democrats’ progressive caucus, Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Raul Grijalva (D-AZ). 

Hoyer, Schwartz Back Schneider 

Schneider is not without his bevy of endorsements. He said he has been endorsed by Congressional Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), the recruitment chair for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He, too, considers himself the front runner. 

Like Tree, Schneider considers his widespread exposure to the business world one of his biggest pluses. Schneider also touts his ties to the 10th District as one of his strengths. 

“My experience for nearly 30 years with Fortune 500 companies and small businesses makes me the perfect candidate to address the issues of the people of the 10th District and the front runner,” Schneider said. “I’ve lived here since 1990 and know what’s important to the people.” 

Tree’s motivation to become a member of Congress sprang from his anger when he said he felt members of the Tea Party were threatening the country’s economic stability.

“Last summer I was working at the Pentagon when the debt ceiling debate was going on,” Tree said. “The Tea Party was holding their own party (the Republicans) hostage and threatening to shut the country down.” 

Tree Criticizes Dold 

That experience motivated Tree to serve the country as a representative in Congress as well as a colonel in the Air Force reserve. Though he admits to living a block outside the 10th District, he chose to challenge Dold rather than admitted Tea Party member Rep. Joe Walsh (R-McHenry). 

“Dold had a chance to stand up and show leadership,” Tree said of the Kenilworth congressman’s stance during the debt ceiling debate. “He could have broken with his party and supported a bipartisan deal. He did not show the courage.” 

Tree’s comments surprised Moraine Township Republican Chairman Lou Atsaves of Lake Forest. 

Atsaves explained Dold was one of 40 Republicans and 100 members of Congress to recently sign a letter asking the Congressional Super Committee, charged with reducing the federal deficit an additional $1.3 trillion, to consider all methods possible including increased revenue. 

“I deal with a lot of Tea Party people both as Moraine Township chair and with the Lake County Republicans. The Tea Party is not comfortable with Dold,” Atsaves said. “They were upset when he signed it (the bipartisan letter)."

The newly drawn 10th District has a slightly more Democratic bent than the old. According to Sheyman, the 10th District is the most Democratic seat still held by a Republican.

JB November 14, 2011 at 03:35 PM
Tree has an impressive resume and I have a lot of respect for the effort Sheyman is putting into the campaign, but it is pretty clear who the frontrunner is and who has the best chance of beating Dold in the fall. Schneider is the only candidate in this race that has endorsements that the people of the 10th have actually heard of or have a strong favorable opinion of. We know and like our State Senators Shoenberg and Garrett who have endorsed Schneider and many of us voted for Hamos who also endorsed Brad. Most of us on the other hand do not think to highly of Jesse Jackson Jr. who I believe is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee. Then it comes to fundraising where it is not even close between Schneider who has over a half a million dollars cash on had to Sheyman's hundred thousand dollars cash on hand. All the candidates don't have wide spread name recognition and unless you have the dough to get you name out there you are not going to do well in the primary. Finally, Schneider is the only one who has spent his entire adult life in the 10th impacting the community and creating local lobs. That is what this elections is going to come down to and that is why Schneider has the best chance of beating Dold in the Fall.
Jon Hall November 18, 2011 at 05:24 PM
"I WILL BE ABLE TO WORK WITH REPUBLICANS TO GET US OUT OF THE MESS WE'RE IN" Fresh out of the box, this herm-like candidate Tree has totally absurd and unrealistic talking points.
flower child November 24, 2011 at 03:05 PM
jb, Go to following link, and type in Brad SCHNEIDER’s name. http://www.fec.gov/finance/disclosure/norindsea.shtml You will see that he has contributed $50,028.00 to his own campaign. (Small wonder he has more campaign cash than Ilya Sheyman!) And he has over the years contributed to Democrats in our district (well one, anyway--Footlik) and to Dems across the state (Bean, Tammy, Mike Quigley, Schakowsky, Durbin) and country (Biden, Pelosi, Lieberman—well maybe you can discount Lieberman). Dig a little deeper (google some of the names you might not recognize) and you will see some Republicans in the mix as well--Robert Foster "Bob" Bennett, Utah, $250; Michael Owen "Mike" Johanns, Nebraska, $250; Michael J. "Mike" Rogers, Michigan, $1000 (!!!!!) But here is what I find DEEPLY TROUBLING: Since 2002, Brad SCHNEIDER has helped to fund Mark Kirk’s campaigns to the tune of $3,300.00, including this interesting factoid: on 03/31/2009, he gave $500 to Kirk after having donated (on 03/26/2009) $1000 to Alexi Giannoulias. I guess Mr. SCHNEIDER couldn’t make up his mind. I, on the other hand, have made up MY mind. I am voting for Ilya Sheyman!!!!!!!!!!!
flower child November 24, 2011 at 03:19 PM
Tree, You don’t live in our district. You could run against Walsh, but you won’t. What’s up with that?
Abigail November 24, 2011 at 04:26 PM
The article says, "Sheyman believes Tree is the candidate of the political establishment, which is trying to derail his campaign as he has become the self described front runner in the race." Someone is delusional. Plus isn't Sheyman the MoveOn.org candidate? I think that makes him "establishment."
D46 Resident November 24, 2011 at 09:04 PM
Anyone endorsed by Danny Davis, Jesse Jackson Jr and Raul Grijalva has already lost my vote. Ugh.
flower child November 25, 2011 at 05:16 AM
MoveOn.org = "establishment." Really?
Abigail November 26, 2011 at 04:46 AM
Yes, reason enough to vote Republican.
Concerned Patriot December 07, 2011 at 07:25 AM
How can he be the establishment guy but live outside the district? The "establishment" drew the new maps so wouldn't they have drawn him into the district? Sheyman's complaining makes no sense.
SH January 03, 2012 at 10:20 PM
It is a shame that Sheyman flaunts the support of Jesse Jackson Jr., some one who is under both congressional and criminal investigation. Brad Schneider is the only democratic candidate with the tools to defeat Rep. Dold in November. Schneider's support for the middle class, small businesses, Israel, and a women's right to choose is unparalleled.
nsmom January 10, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Schneider not only donated to Kirk, he raised thousands for him. He never supported Dan Seals.
Robert Boggs January 31, 2012 at 05:41 PM
John Tree is a real Democrat. Brad Schneider is a Republican-lite who was also a Mark Kirk backer. End of story. Look at Schneider's endorsements: Mellisa Bean. Steny Hoyer? Yes. Republican-lites. We have better choices in the 10th than Schnieder.


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