Democrat Brad Schneider Vs. Republican Joe Severino In 10th District

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HIGHLAND PARK, IL — Democratic Congressman Brad Schneider is being challenged by Republican businessman Joe Severino as he seeks a fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the newly redrawn 10th Congressional District of Illinois.

Schneider, of Highland Park, and Severino, of Lake Forest, each ran unopposed in their party’s primaries.

Since narrowly losing his first reelection bid to Kenilworth Republican Bob Dold in 2014, Schneider defeated Dold two years later. He has won reelection twice more since then, with more than 60 percent of the vote each time.

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Currently a member of the House Ways and Means and and Foreign Affairs committees, Schneider’s campaign touts that he was ranked as one of the most bipartisan members of Congress upon his return to the Republican-controlled House in 2017.

In the first session of his current term, Schneider is ranked the 75th most bipartisan out of 435 representatives on the Bipartisan Index by the Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. So far this session, he has sponsored 49 pieces of legislation.

Find out what’s happening in Highland Parkwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

In March, a pair of Lake Forest residents sought to get Schneider kicked off the Democratic Party primary ballot because he listed his Highland Park house as his home address before he moved in. The Illinois State Board of Elections later dismissed the challenge and allowed Schneider to appear on the June 28 ballot.

After Highland Park Patch reported Schneider and his wife, Julie Dann, had received simultaneous homestead exemptions for residential properties in Deerfield and Highland Park — where they had demolished an architecturally significant home in 2019 to replace it with their “dream house” — the congressman ended up agreeing to pay more than $500 in additional property taxes.

Severino ran a small business more than 25 years and has established and “personally funded a children’s foundation, as well as many other charities,” according to his campaign. His website lists his top priorities as “rebuilding the economy and lowering taxes,” “putting parents back in charge of their children’s education,” and “protecting our community and keeping our families safe.”

In January, Severino filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with liens against his personal assets including more than $350,000 to the IRS and more than $41,000 to the Illinois Department of Revenue.

Severino left his business, Elite Valet Systems, to run for Congress but attorneys for his associates “mishandled” it, mislead him and got a default judgment against him in federal court, he told Crain’s Chicago Business, which first reported the filing in August. The next status hearing in the case is set for Dec. 14.

Following the mass shooting at the Highland Park 4th of July parade, Severino said in a social media post that Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering was “indirectly responsible” massacre that left seven people dead and wounded nearly 50 others.

Severino claimed, without evidence, that Rotering was aware that knives had been confiscated from the home of the alleged gunman and falsely suggested that Rotering could herself have gone to a judge to seek a firearm owners restraining order under Illinois’ so-called “red flag” law. (While police may petition courts for such orders, mayors may not.)

After WCPT-AM reported on Severino’s Facebook post, a Schneider staffer shared a link to the report and said Severino should apologize to Rotering and the victim’s families if he “had a shred of decency.” In response, Severino doubled down, tweeting that Rotering “is the reason the shooting occurred. She was negligent in ensuring that steps were made to confiscate the gun by court order after awareness of the red flag.”

Schneider, who was at the Highland Park 4th of July parade, has said he was appalled and disgusted by his opponent’s remarks.

As of the middle of last month, Schneider’s campaign had raised less than $3.56 million but spent over $4.6 million in this year’s election, while Severino’s campaign raised more than $34,000 and spent nearly $22,000, according to federal campaign finance records.

Schneider has declined to participate in debates or forums with his Republican opponent, who sought to debate him at one of his official Congress on your Corner events in Buffalo Grove. The congressman told the Lake County News-Sun that his opponent this year is different because Severino has a record of disseminating conspiracy theories regarding COVID-19 and the 2020 election.

“What’s different is I’m not willing to give these conspiracies the legitimacy of a forum, especially the way things are structured,” Schneider said. “It’s not a debate over ideas, but a fight over what is reality.”

Severino said the incumbent refuses to debate him because he is threatened by his candidacy.

“He’s spending a lot of money and he’s trying to hide to thwart the opportunity for those to hear what I have to say,” Severino said last week in a video message. “Illinois GOP isn’t stepping up defending me, trying to promote me. They’re literally hoping I lose. They know I’m a people’s candidate. They want me to lose so they can install an entrenched Republican in two years, because they’re already in business with Brad Schneider. This is a ‘uni-party’ here in Illinois, folks.”

In last year’s redistricting, the 10th District traded portions of Northfield and Maine townships to the 9th District in exchange for more of New Trier Township. The 10th District extended west into portions of McHenry County and north to the Wisconsin border to include all of northern Lake County.

It now includes the towns of Antioch, Glencoe, Grayslake, Gurnee, Kenilworth, Fox Lake, Highland Park, Hebron, Johnsburg, Mundelein, Northbrook, North Chicago, Park City, Lake Forest, Lake Villa, Libertyville, Richmond, Round Lake, Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Spring Grove, Vernon Hills, Waukegan, Wheeling, Winnetka, Wonder Lake and Zion.


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November 7, 2022 at 09:49PM

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