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Joe Walsh tells candidate he’s running in another district

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011

* Roll Call had the scoop

Rep. Joe Walsh may switch races to run in Illinois’ 8th district instead of against Rep. Randy Hultgren in the GOP primary next year, according to two well-placed Republican sources.

Walsh met with an aspiring GOP candidate in the 8th district, DuPage County Superintendent of Education Darlene Ruscitti, this afternoon and told her he planned to run there instead, according to a source with knowledge of the encounter

* Ruscitti confirmed the meeting to the Daily Herald. Walsh wouldn’t talk

“I did meet with him,” Darlene Ruscitti, the DuPage County regional superintendent of education who has announced plans to run in the 8th District GOP primary, said Monday evening.

But she deferred all other questions to Walsh, saying, “I would just talk to Joe.”

Neither Walsh nor his spokesman, Justin Roth, returned calls seeking comment.

“What happened is he called her for the meeting,” a senior Republican operative told the Daily Herald Monday. “He sat down and said, ‘I’m running in the 8th (Congressional District).’”

* If Walsh wins that primary, he’d be up against either Tammy Duckworth or Raja Krishnamoorthi, who are battling it out in the Democratic primary. A blast e-mail from Duckworth’s campaign manager…

Remember when we told you that the thought of running against Tammy had sent Rep. Joe Walsh running to a new district?

Guess who’s back…

It looks like the residents of the 14th district didn’t want Tea Party hero Joe Walsh representing them. Walsh is shopping around for a district to run in - and Roll Call reports that his latest bad idea is to run against Tammy.

Donate $10 now to show Joe Walsh that we don’t want him here either.

Tammy’s never backed down from a fight in her life and she certainly won’t back down from this one. But now that Joe Walsh is back, she’ll need all the help she can get.

Bring it on,


Josh Levin
Campaign Manager
Duckworth for Congress

* And a press release from Raja’s campaign…

On September 21, Congressman Joe Walsh announced that he would seek election the Illinois’ 14th Congressional district instead of his 8th district. His decision was clear indication that he saw the writing on the wall - constituents across Schaumburg, Elgin, Lombard, Elmhurst and the rest of the district reject Joe Walsh and his misguided Tea Party values. Voters in the 8th District are hungry for real solutions to job creation for the middle class, not media antics and shallow talking points. Now, Joe Walsh has changed his mind and decided to run in the 8th District.

“Joe Walsh is clearly unelectable,” said Campaign Spokesman Mike Murray. “His radical Tea Party agenda, combined with his personal problems, have made him unviable even in the Republican-leaning 14th District.”

“With his decision to run for re-election in the 8th District, Walsh is clearly trying to postpone his inevitable electoral defeat from March to November,” continued Murray. “Walsh hopes that a few extra months will allow voters to forget his cheap antics, bad policies, and his utter failure to provide economic solutions as our representative. Raja is in this race to make sure that will never happen.”

Raja Krishnamoorthi, Democratic Congressional candidate for Illinois’ 8th District, has led the charge against Walsh and the job-killing Tea Party agenda. Since May, Raja actively stood up to Congressman Walsh and provided voters with sound solutions to restoring middle class prosperity and job creation.

“I got in this race to take on the Tea Party and stand up for the middle-class and small businesses,” said Krishnamoorthi. “As a candidate who is also president of a local small business, I am uniquely positioned to challenge Joe Walsh and his misguided economic agenda. I am the only candidate on the Democratic side with the economic experience needed to challenge Joe Walsh and the Tea Party’s economic agenda.”

I’ve tried contacting Walsh. I’ll let you know if he gets back to me, so watch for an update.

In the meantime, discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:08 am:

    Looks like Hultgren scared him off. It’s an old story — stand up to a loudmouth bully, and eventually they run away.

  2. - Spliff - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:18 am:

    Not to be a killjoy but you made a bit of a mistake it the fax today. You are right that Walsh didn’t file but filing for congressionals hasn’t started yet so technically no one has filed.
    Just saying

  3. - mokenavince - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:25 am:

    Joe Should shop all districts to truly find out how the whole state feels about him.I hope Tammy finishes off his 15 minutes of fame.

  4. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:27 am:

    Stop the presses. A Democratic candidate’s manager does not want a Republican candidate to run. To quote Warren Zevon, … send lawyers,… money…..

  5. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:27 am:

    Yeah, that occurred to me after I hit the send button.

  6. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:29 am:

    Here’s my take. Joe and his peeps went out in the new 14th and got a tepid reaction. Since the federal judge is allowing Congressional candidates to pass petitions in areas larger than their immediate district and since the deadline has been pushed back, Joe is taking advantage of these developments and would rather have a lackluster primary and keep his powder dry for the general. I can’t blame him. Plenty of political types do whatever they can to keep alive.

  7. - soccermom - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:31 am:

    I am not objective in this one, but I think Josh Levin’s release is way more effective and to the point than the Krishnamoorti response. Straightforward, clear — really reflects the candidate. Nice.

  8. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:32 am:

    –Stop the presses. A Democratic candidate’s manager does not want a Republican candidate to run. –

    Pluto, where do you get that from? Certainly not from anything you read in the thread.

    Democrats in that district would love to run against Walsh. The only people who don’t want Walsh to run are GOP establishment types.

  9. - ZC - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:35 am:

    Joe Walsh’s problem is not the 14th district, nor Hultgren. The problem is he is a flavor-of-the-year. He ran on concentrated anger, low turnout and an opponent who didn’t take him seriously until it was too late. The anger may still be around in 2012, but the other two won’t be.

  10. - Lefty Lefty - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:36 am:

    As a 14th resident I can vouch for Wordslinger’s take. It would have been a fun primary to watch, and if Walsh won the Dems might have had a chance in this Republican sink.

  11. - Rahm's Parking Meter - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:39 am:

    Walsh will get his hat handed to him here too. It looks like the GOP Leadership wanted to save Hultgren so they convinced Walsh to run in 8. If he wins, great. If he’s out, so what?

  12. - AFSCME Steward - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:41 am:

    Maybe his internal polling showed there is a higher per capita number of deadbeat dads in the 8th than in the 14th, so his chances would be better there.

  13. - Dirt Digger - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:53 am:

    If this is real, and I am skeptical on that point till filing actually occurs, it can only be some sort of deal wherein the GOP managed to push its most unwinnable candidate into its most unwinnable race. I have no idea why Walsh would sign on to that but it’s the only explanation I can come up with for Walsh deciding he has a better shot against a female war hero in a heavy D district than another unaccomplished white dude in a heavy R district.

  14. - Shore - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:55 am:

    If I’m a democrat this morning this is not what I wanted. Walsh is not a steve greenberg/dave mcsweeney type where he is going to sit there like a potted plant and let them go after him. He’s going to make them use every last dollar and every ounce of energy to beat him and both of these democrats have lost races in the past. This is also a win for Illinois political media because that race will be ugly and he’s guaranteed to have at least a dozen classic cable news/youtube blow ups.

  15. - Great Caesar's Ghost! - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:57 am:

    Living in the 8th, I can’t wait for the opportunity to send Mr. Walsh to a well deserved retirement … Although he’ll probably wind up as a Fox News “contributor” after his electoral repudiation.

  16. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 10:07 am:

    Shore, whoever wins that Democratic primary will be able to raise tons of money because Walsh is a nationally divisive figure. Also, Walsh is no solid bet to win the GOP primary in the 8th. His many, many problems won’t disappear because he’s running in a different district.

  17. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 10:09 am:

    “Donate $10 now to show Joe Walsh that we don’t want him here either…. Josh Levin”

    That’s where.. Kind of silly I think

  18. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 10:11 am:

    –He’s going to make them use every last dollar and every ounce of energy to beat him and both of these democrats have lost races in the past.–

    If Walsh is the GOP candidate, money is not going to be a problem for the Dem nominee.

  19. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 10:13 am:

    ==Walsh is not a steve greenberg/dave mcsweeney type where he is going to sit there like a potted plant and let them go after him.==

    Perhaps not, but Walsh has a couple of hurdles: 1) it’s a D district and 2) he has shown himself to act like a doofus. These might make it hard for him to raise money. Even though he is an incumbent, the R’s (and the Tea Party folks) have a lot of House seats to defend and they will put their money onto winnable races.

  20. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 10:15 am:

    You misread it, Plutocrat. It’s about beating him, not getting him not to run. Did you not see the end of the email where it says “Bring it on”?

  21. - Confused - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 10:16 am:

    Walsh probably won’t be adverse to revisiting Duckworth’s anti-war statements. Those didn’t generally play well with most veterans last time around. Also, Duckworth isn’t a great debater. Walsh has some strength in that area. I don’t think this matchup is optimal for Duckworth. Not that any of that takes away from Walsh’s deficits.

  22. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 10:16 am:

    ===Perhaps not, but Walsh has a couple of hurdles: 1) it’s a D district and 2) he has shown himself to act like a doofus. ====

    3: Walsh’s personal problems.

  23. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 10:17 am:

    Pluto, you’re misreading. Dems want Walsh to run because they’ll raise tons of money and he has more baggage than a Cher/Elton John concert tour.

  24. - so... - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 10:18 am:

    Just a reminder to the Duckworth-boosters - she managed to lose in 2006, one of the best Democratic years in recent memory. Yes, she’ll be running in a more favorable district this year, but the climate won’t be nearly as good.

  25. - 10th ward - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 10:20 am:

    your comment about Walsh’s not being a solid bet in the 8th GOP primary? Do you think Darlene Ruscitti can beat Joe? Really? I don’t and Walsh has figured out that the 8th is easier path to the General. She has NO name ID and Walsh, while being nutty can beat her easy

  26. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 10:21 am:

    I read this as a tactic strongly pushed by the national GOP campaign, to siphon off Dem campaign money to a district where a Dem would likely win anyway. It plays easily into Walsh’s big ego, and takes pressure off Hultgren.

    Now maybe we send Raja to Hultgren’s district, to give him fits, (and maybe even win through force of intellect and personality.)

  27. - reformer - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 10:46 am:

    Walsh doesn’t live in the new 8th, which is more Democratic than the current 8th.
    Walsh got clobbered in the Cook County part of the district last year. Northwest Cook makes up the largest part of the new district.

  28. - Bill Baar - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 10:47 am:

    Walsh v Duckworth would be a great race, nasty but great. They’ll both bring in tons of out of state money. Duckworth far from as strong a candidate as some above make her out to be. A great race for bloggers to cover though. A lot of people will be watching.

  29. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 10:49 am:

    Is there a world record for the candidate who most people want to run against?
    Dead Beat Joe Walsh must be a top choice
    What happens when he drop out altogether and decides to only to get to the general election is as a teabag candidate?
    But in the mean time let’s have some fun
    What will be the over/under for the Dead beat’s number of racist/sexist comments.

  30. - amalia - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 11:06 am:

    is the Duckworth campaign sending out emails regularly? i’m constantly getting Raja mail but not Duckworth. weird if one is a person who has had contact with consultants on the Duckworth side.

  31. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 11:13 am:

    Yes Tammy lost to Roskam. But she came within a point or two of defeating a solid Republican in Henry Hyde’s old district. She ran a heck of a race.
    Remember also that Bean’s district had been GOP forever too (it was Crane’s old district). Bean won because she was perceived as a conservative. Winning that one back by a tiny margin in a GOP landslide was not a huge win. A moderate Republican would have won by 5 points that year, and a moderate female Republican would have won by 10.
    Unless Walsh has no sense of his own perception, I don’t see how he thinks “Deadbeat Dad” can beat “War Hero.” Maybe he’s looked that the district and sees enough solid Rs to carry him no matter his personal problems. However, I’m with Dirt Digger. I will believe he’s running in that race when he files.

  32. - Aldyth - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 11:20 am:

    Good. The man is an embarrassment to the Republican Party and watching his campaign will offer great entertainment value.

  33. - Robert - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 11:27 am:

    I still think Walsh would have a better shot beating Hultgren, running as the “true conservative” in the primary, than winning a heavily Dem district.

    While Walsh has personal problems, is too tea party, and occasionally acts crazy, Walsh can debate and defend his positions and he works hard. But I’d love to see Walsh debate Raja, with Raja’s command of the issues.

  34. - Bill Baar - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 11:33 am:

    @Amalia I get regular Duckworth mails and tweets. From Raja too.

  35. - mokenavince - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 11:50 am:

    Finally something we all can agree on, Joes got to

  36. - bored now - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 11:51 am:

    first of all, don’t underestimate peter roskam. i don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to call him the smartest or savviest congressman from illinois right now (mike quigley might be better, but only time will reveal that). no republican that duckworth could possibly face would prove more of a challenge that roskam.

    having said that, walsh is a goner, it doesn’t matter who he runs against. but by jumping into what is essentially a general election matchup for him, he can pretend that he’ll be in congress in 2013 for a few more months (and, who knows, maybe the job market will improve by then and he can find himself a soft landing)…

  37. - bored now - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 11:54 am:

    i meant to add: i am sort of surprised at how early republicans accepted the democratic map, though…

  38. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 11:57 am:

    I would not be surprised if Joe was pushed towards the 8th by the IL GOP Congressional Delegation leaders (i.e. Congressmen Shimkus & Roskam and Senator Kirk). The last thing they want is for what should be a solid GOP district (14th) to be lost because Walsh wins the primary, divides the party and draws a strong(er) slated candidate after the March primary.

  39. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 11:59 am:

    ===Walsh can debate===

    Congressional debates are seen by just a handful of people, unless there’s a YouTube moment. It just doesn’t matter as much on that level.

  40. - ZC - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 12:13 pm:

    What bored now said. People underestimate Pete Roskam as a campaigner. I’m no huge fan but there’s probably several reasons he got one of the safe seats when the Democrats handed out the map.

  41. - Nice Kid - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 12:15 pm:

    I would love to see Walsh get crushed by Duckworth. I suspect his crazy antics, launched against a wounded war hero, will go over like a lead balloon. Too funny.

  42. - so... - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 12:16 pm:

    ==Yes Tammy lost to Roskam. But she came within a point or two of defeating a solid Republican in Henry Hyde’s old district. She ran a heck of a race.==

    Are you kidding? She ran a terrible race. She had tons of national help and a great political environment. Heck, she raised $4.5 million, a huge sum for a congressional race, and $1 million more than Roskam raised.

    She had everything going for her and still managed to lose in one of the biggest Democratic landslide years in history.

    She is not a strong candidate. But, then again, neither is Walsh.

  43. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 12:22 pm:

    ===She had everything going for her and still managed to lose in one of the biggest Democratic landslide years in history. ===

    First, she had trouble campaigning because she was so sick at the time. She had to make stops every day so she could get IV antibiotics because she had a God-awful infection.

    Second, that was, indeed, a solidly Republican district. Big Dem year or not, numbers matter.

    Third, Roskam was a much better campaigner than the Dems thought he’d be. The guy is good.

  44. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 12:33 pm:

    ===Walsh probably won’t be adverse to revisiting Duckworth’s anti-war statements. ===

    Sheesh. What part of badly wounded war veteran do you not comprehend? She got blown up while flying a helicopter in Iraq, doofus.

  45. - McDem - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 12:40 pm:

    “Sometimes I can’t help the feeling that I’m
    living a life of illusion
    And oh, why can’t we let it be
    And see thru the hole in
    this wall of confusion”… (The real Joe Walsh)

  46. - McDem - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 12:46 pm:

    Team Sleep??
    I agree with most of what you said, but there is a good Dem, McClatchey running in the 14th, that would have given Walsh a hell of a fight.

  47. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 12:56 pm:

    Republicans who think they are going to get traction against Democrats who criticized the Iraq War or even Afghanistan are living in the Fox News bubble.

    Read the polling. Neither of these invasions/occupations is popular.

    BTW, you might want to update your 2003 calendar.

  48. - Confused - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 1:21 pm:

    “Sheesh. What part of badly wounded war veteran do you not comprehend? She got blown up while flying a helicopter in Iraq, doofus.”

    Despite being a “doofus”, I am also a “war veteran.” I honor her service. I despised her statements on national security issues last time around. I don’t know a single “war veteran” who voted for her last time around.

  49. - amalia - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 1:21 pm:

    @Bill Baar…thanks. we’ll see how long til they get to my box!

  50. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 1:29 pm:

    –I don’t know a single “war veteran” who voted for her last time around. –

    There are plenty of veterans who have spoken out against the Iraq War. Do the google if haven’t seen them.

    What does the Iraq War have to do with U.S. national security, anyway?

  51. - Confused - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 1:55 pm:

    @wordslinger, Duckworth’s statements on national security were quite wide ranging and not confined to the Iraq War. Few of them were favorably received by the veteran community. Even if they were, I would suggest - despite the google search you recommended - that she will find the majority of veterans continue to disagree with her on Iraq as well. Not saying I couldn’t be wrong, but I know a lot of veterans who were pretty worked up during her last race.

    Again, none of that should detract from her personal sacrifice. On a personal level, she is an admirable person. But I think it is simplistic to think that veterans are incapable or unwilling to separate the person from the position when they go into the voting booth.

  52. - L.S. - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 1:59 pm:

    Duckworth’s people are arrogant. She’s a wounded veteran and that is something she has rightfully been honored for. But it does not give her a free pass into anything. The rethoric out of her camp is presumptuous and disrespectful of electoral process. She will have her hands full with Raja.

  53. - I'm Just Saying - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 2:04 pm:

    Wow, I guess a lot of the Cegalis folks havent’ let this one go, so tell me how did she do against Roskam

    And did she really “Rage Against the machine” when she took that state job…….

  54. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 2:07 pm:

    To reiterate what wordslinger said…

    If you think being pro invading Iraq means you are serious or knowledgeable about national security, you’re not. Not even close.

    You are either a partisan Republican hack or someone who are irrational bigotry toward Arabs and Muslims.

    Invading Iraq was only a success for the people who made money off the war.

    And, yeah, I pulled my weight in the military.

  55. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 2:10 pm:

    Confused: Beware “mother-in-law research”. I am also a war veteran, and know many who supported Duckworth last time around. I assume your own opinions are well-founded, but not necessarily universally held.

    One of the worst things about that campaign was the false criticism of Duckworth spread among veterans’ organizations by one Illinois VFW-associated political operative, which eventually was condemned by the national board of VFW. It was his personal version of “swift-boating”, and a disgrace for any veteran who participated, IMHO.

  56. - Cheswick - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 2:29 pm:

    He’s just looking for clues at the scene of the crime….

  57. - P. - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 2:37 pm:

    “Bring it on” … No longer an ok cliche to roll out. Hopefully she runs a ‘different’ campaign than the one the national Dem studs ran against Roskam, but that talk sounds like the same stuff we heard from the goofs who helped snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in 2006. Talk about lame.

  58. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 2:45 pm:

    Sorry. I was not aware of a Dem candidate in the 14th. I don’t know how serious the DCCC would’ve taken Mr. McClatchey. Not to be mean, but they have their hands full with the 8th, 12th, 13th and 17th Districts - and that’s just in Illinois. With Hultgren now the only horse in the race, I can’t imagine this will be on their radio.

  59. - Boone Logan Square - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 3:49 pm:

    An enterprising DCCC should be able to raise campaign cash (not only for this race, but others) for the next 11 months if Walsh can survive a primary. If Steve Israel is worth his salt, millions of dollars are at play for races across the country.

  60. - Confused - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 5:08 pm:

    Joe will have a primary in name only.

  61. - mokenavince - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 6:06 pm:

    Joe may screw all of us and run for President,now that would be fun.

  62. - Tom Robb - Thursday, Dec 1, 11 @ 3:57 pm:

    If Walsh does run in the 8th he is not going to have the support of some of the important local Republican leaders. Here’s our story on local reaction to rumors of Walsh’s run.

  63. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 1, 11 @ 4:00 pm:

    Tom, that story is posted on today’s thread.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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