By Caroline Kenny
Less than a week after President Obama introduced executive orders to reduce gun violence, Former U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, who is seeking the Democratic nomination in the 10th Congressional District, released his first broadcast campaign advertisement this week highlighting his history as a strong advocate for gun control.
Schneider, who served the 10th Congressional District from 2012 to 2014 before being ousted by current Rep. Bob Dold, a Republican, mentioned his “F” rating from the NRA in the ad and showed images from his first-ever speech on the House floor in 2012 in which he spoke about the need for more extensive background checks.
“We think it is an important issue with this coming cycle,” said Magen Ryan, Schneider campaign manager. “It is something Brad is very passionate about and he is a long time advocate of gun control.”
Schneider, 54, of Deerfield, is determined to take his seat back from Dold, 46, of Kenilworth, who he lost to in 2014 by 2 percentage points. The competition between the two has always been close. Schneider defeated Dold in 2012 by less than 2,000 votes, after Dold was elected to the seat in 2010.
Schneider first faces a primary opponent in Nancy Rotering, 55, the current mayor of Highland Park.
Rotering released her third broadcast advertisement in December that also discussed gun control. The ad included footage of Rotering passing an assault weapon and high capacity magazine ban for the city in 2013, which was allowed to stand by the U.S. Supreme Court last month.
Dold, despite being vulnerable in a district that has voted for a Democratic president in every one of the last four elections, trends moderate as a Republican. He was one of three Republicans to vote against a repeal of President Obama’s health care law and last year signed on to co-sponsor the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act, which would expand background checks.
Dold’s stance on guns does not differ greatly from that of Schneider. Both support a bill backed by most Democrats and some Republicans to ban people on U.S. terrorist-watch lists (including the no-fly list) from buying guns or explosives in this country.
“There isn’t an ad maker in the world who can undo his embarrassing do-nothing record as one of the least competent members to serve in Washington,” Danielle Hagen, spokeswoman for the Dold campaign, said in response to the Schneider ad.
Dold is a member of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Patriot Program for the House GOP’s most vulnerable incumbents. Eleven of the 12 members of the program were elected in 2014, when Republicans made huge gains across the country in congressional elections. The Patriot Program was designed to provide fundraising and organizational help to the 12 congressmen as Republicans seek to protect their current 30-seat majority moving forward.
Campaign fundraising has been consistently close for Schneider and Dold. Through the September 30, Schneider had raised $1 million and has $700,000 on hand. Dold had raised $1.5 million and had more cash on hand with $1.3 million. Both Dold and Schneider had received a considerable amount of money from PACs due to their backing from their respective party’s Congressional Campaign Committees.
Meanwhile, Rotering raised $760,000 and had $794,000 cash on hand, $245,000 of which is a loan she gave to the campaign.
The next financial reports are due this week.
Schneider and Rotering face each other in the Democratic primary on March 15. The winner will move on to face Dold in the general election on November 8.