8th wars: Splitting the baby

8th wars: Splitting the baby

Posted by Kerry Lester on Wed, 07/27/2011 - 12:32

8th District Democratic Candidates Raja Krishnamoorthi and Tammy Duckworth are now tussling over the support - or more accurately, neutrality - of big name Dems Melissa Bean and Debbie Halvorson.

In mid-June, we, along with a number of other political blogs ran a statement Bean, of Barrington, had released in support of Raja, noting she'd supported Raja’s candidacy financially with $1,000 cash donation and a $2,000 in-kind contribution of office equipment left over from her previous campaign.

"Raja's priorities are well aligned with the families and businesses of Illinois' 8th Congressional District. He and his wife have been raising their two sons in Hoffman Estates, so they know the challenges that families here are facing and are invested personally in the success of suburban public schools. As president of a small business, he also recognizes that greater innovation is critical to our economic strength. His candidacy brings extensive public sector experience, an impressive academic background, and a Midwest work ethic to the race."

Krishnamoorthi cited Halvorson among his list of supporters.
But wait.

Now that Duckworth's in the race, the former Obama administration member has made it a point to note that she wasn't being shut out by big-name women.

Duckworth Wednesday announced she'd gained the support of Emily’s List, an organization dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women, that will highlight Duckworth as one of the top races in the country on its website and in other communications.

That release contained a special, bolded note that former 8th District Congresswoman Melissa Bean and former 11th District Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson, "have pledged neutrality" in the Democratic Primary, also offering praise about Duckworth.

"We took great pains to make sure no one thought we were playing these quotes as endorsements," Duckworth strategist Pete Giangreco said. "Raja was more than willing to let reporters think Bean endorsed. Halvorson never endorsed either."

Yet, Raja spokesman Mike Murray also contacted me, noting the campaign "never claimed that former Congresswoman Melissa Bean publicly endorsed our candidacy. While it is true that Bean cannot formerly endorse a candidate due to her position in the private sector, the facts are clear. It was Bean who initially recruited Raja to run for the new 8th district seat."

Ugh. Headache yet?

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