The left-leaning 9th Congressional District is taking on more Republican turf under the new map, but Republican Joel Pollak doesn’t plan to make a run against Democratic U.S. Rep. Janice Schakowsky in the more-competitive district.
In an e-mail message to supporters of his 2010 bid, Pollak confirmed that he would not be seeking any political office in 2012.
“My wife Julia and I are expecting our first child in February, and I have joined Andrew Breitbart’s rapidly growing media empire as in-house counsel and incoming editor-in-chief,” wrote Pollak.
Pollak waged the most serious challenge to Schakowsky in the 12 years since she took office, but lost nonetheless by a 2-1 margin.
Democratic map makers were apparently betting Schakowsky could afford to absorb some Republican territory when they redrew the map to erase the Republican gains of 2010 and adjust for Illinois’ loss of one seat following the recent census.
The 9th Congressional District has been shifted north along the lakefront to include all of Wilmette, Winnetka, Northfield and Kenilworth, including the 10th District home of conservative Robert Dold of Kenilworth, who plans to rerun in the 10th District.
The redrawn 9th Congressional District still includes a portion of Chicago’s lakefront and Evanston, Lincolnwood, Skokie, Morton Grove, Niles and Park Ridge.
Schakowsky has taken on some new territory in Glenview and southeast Northbrook, as well as in the northwest suburbs of Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect and Rolling Meadows.
Two lawsuits are pending against the Democratic-drawn map, but a U.S. District judge has ruled that candidates can collect signatures based on the approved boundaries. Those signatures will be considered valid, even if the map is subsequently changed.
The filing period runs from Nov. 28 to Dec. 5.
After Schakowsky trounced Pollak in 2010, her campaign pointed out that despite spending more than $600,000, her rival received only 14,338 more votes than a 2006 challenger who spent no money.
No Democrats have announced plans to challenge the Evanston congresswoman in the March 20 primary. So far, only Susanne Atanus of Des Plaines has indicated an intent to seek the Republican nomination. Atanus has twice before sought the seat. In 2010, her candidacy was voided by a Cook County judge who found her petitions were formatted improperly. She subsequently ran as a write-in candidate for U.S. Senate.