Freshmen congressmen to face-off in GOP primary
Rep. Joe Walsh speaks on Capitol Hill during a June news conference.
September 21st, 2011
06:54 PM ET
12 years ago

Freshmen congressmen to face-off in GOP primary

Washington (CNN)-Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich may have been spared his seat when new congressional district maps were drawn in Ohio, but two states away, freshman Rep. Joe Walsh wasn't so lucky.

Walsh announced Wednesday that he will seek re-election to Congress where his home is-in the new 14th Congressional District of Illinois. The trouble is, Walsh represents the 8th Congressional District while fellow Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren currently represents the 14th District. He also plans to seek re-election there, for his second term.

Lines for the present 8th Congressional District have been re-drawn to reflect population changes revealed in the 2010 U.S. Census; Walsh’s territory changed as a result of the redistricting and the new 14th Congressional District will include his residence.

And he seems prepared for a primary battle against the GOP freshman congressman.

"I understand that there is another Republican Congressman drawn into this new district, Randy Hultgren, and it would be unfortunate if we had to run against each other," Walsh said in an e-mail to supporters.
"The new 14th District, if it stands, doesn't belong to any incumbent or any politician. The district belongs to the people of this district and they will have to decide who their next representative is."

Hultgren begged to differ."I'm disappointed that the Congressman from the 8th District has decided to abandon his own district to run against me in a primary," he said in written statement.

Walsh, who apologized in early September for calling President Obama "idiotic," pointed the finger at Democrats for creating the mashup in the first place.

"As you know, the Democrats controlled the entire redistricting process in Illinois and they've drawn a map which attempts to overturn the 2010 election," he said.

"The Republicans have filed suit to challenge the Democrat-drawn map and have presented the court with their own fair map. We should get an answer from the Court in November but I didn't want to wait that long to let you all know what I'll be doing."

"No matter which map prevails, I've decided to run for re-election from the district in which I live," Walsh continued.

But Hultgren accused the tea party favorite of fitting into party opposition plans by pursuing a bid outside of his current district.

"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," Hultgren said.

The proposed map of the new 14th District envelops territory from both congressmen's current districts, including McHenry, where Walsh resides, and Winfield, where Hultgren is from.

Although Walsh assured his supporters that both he and his soon-to-be-primary-opponent are "good conservatives" he previewed the contest to come saying, "there are also healthy differences between the two of us, we've both had a very different initial tenure in Washington, and the voters in the new district will decide which one of us will best be their voice in DC.”

Hultgren expressed his own view of what voters want, saying "The residents of the 14th District are looking for responsible leadership for the long haul."

Two Democrats have already joined the race in Illinois’ 14th: Veterans’ Affairs Assistant Sec. Tammy Duckworth and former Deputy State Treasurer Raja Krishnamoorthi.

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Filed under: 2012 • Illinois • Joe Walsh • Redistricting
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Who would want either of these two tea baggers to represent them in congress? Aurora is made up of seniors and workers, and neither of these two have made one vote in support of their voters. At least Joe, the dead beat dad, will be sent packing.

    September 21, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  2. cindy

    Still trying to figure out how "can't pay my child support but can vacation with my girlfriend" Walsh got elected in the first place. Must be a good liar-his apology is just as fake as he is. Illinois I know you can do better!!!!!!

    September 21, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  3. thomas

    freshman Rep. Joe Walsh needs to pay is back child support !

    Walsh is a Bum !

    September 21, 2011 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  4. otermbachmann

    Isn't Walsh a waste of tax payers money? Has he been paying child support? Just another teabagger.

    September 21, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  5. Zach

    Krishnamoorthi and Duckworth are running in the 8th, not the 14th

    September 21, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |