Julie Hamos, with Linda Lutz (left) and Debbie Hillman (right)

Standing on what she hopes will be her new home turf and surrounded by enthusiastic supporters, State Representative Julie Hamos announced on July 28 that she would like to represent the 10th Congressional District in Washington, D.C.

 

“Today I am so proud to be standing before you to announce my candidacy for Congresswoman from the 10th Congressional District,” Ms. Hamos said to the crowd of nearly 100 gathered at the Heller Nature Center in Highland Park.  

 

The Congressional seat, occupied by Mark Kirk, will be open in the next election, as Mr. Kirk has announced his run for U.S. Senate.

 

Ms. Hamos, who represented the 18th State legislative district since 1998, announced earlier this year she planned to seek a “statewide office.” That office was assumed by most to be that of attorney general, until the current attorney general, Lisa Madigan, said she would seek re-election.

 

Ms. Hamos joins three other Democrats in the bid for the nomination: Dan Seals of Wilmette, Elliot Richardson of Highland Park and State Senator Michael Bond of Grayslake.

 

“It is a time when this country needs leadership, and that is what I can provide. The people of the 10th District and I share the same values: a commitment to a strong economy; a government that is frugal and accountable; investment in education and in our infrastructure; clean energy and water; a reduction in violence on the streets and at in the home; and access to quality health care, including reproductive health care.”

 

Ms. Hamos also said that as a child of Holocaust survivors she is “passionate about Israel as a Jewish state that has the right to secure borders.”

 

Several elected officials spoke in support of Ms. Hamos, emphasizing her integrity and her willingness to speak out on tough issues.

 

State Representative Elaine Nekritz, who said she had been Ms. Hamos’s colleague in Springfield for seven years, said “Julie is strategic; she is relentless; she speaks truth to power; she listens; and she gives voice to people who don’t necessarily have one.”

 

State Senator Jeffrey Schoenberg said, “Today we’re going to launch a new chapter in politics. Julie will have a thoughtful, independent and progressive agenda, which will include education, a higher ethical standard of government and health care.”

 

Elliot Hartstein, mayor of Buffalo Grove, said Ms. Hamos is “one of those special public servants who will speak out and do what is right.”

 

Recounting her family’s escape from communist Hungary when she was five years old, Ms. Hamos said, “I will be a watchdog for fiscal responsibility in government. I have a commitment to democracy. I was taught to believe in the American dream.”

 

In addition to three competitors, Ms. Hamos may face the challenge of being a newcomer to the district she proposes to represent. At present she resides in the Ninth Congressional District, represented by Jan Schakowsky, whose seat she took in Springfield when Ms. Schakowsky ran for Congress.

 

Ms. Hamos will continue to represent the 18th State Legislative District for the remainder of her term, said Angie Lobo, her chief of staff. Ms. Hamos and her husband, Alan Greiman, plan to put their condominium in downtown Evanston on the market soon and to move into a part of the 18th state legislative district that is also part of the 10th Congressional district.