Politics

8th District candidates Tammy Duckworth, Joe Walsh go after voters at same event

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Democrat Tammy Duckworth and Republican Joe Walsh, candidates in the fierce election fight for the 8th Congressional District, appeared at the same event in Glendale Heights Wednesday.

The 8th Congressional District is newly redrawn and parts of the west and northwest suburbs.

The combatants for the district studiously avoided each other -- but not the voters.

Congressman Walsh appeared first in front of a friendly Chamber of Commerce crowd and laid out what he'll do with a second term in Congress.

"We in the House have voted to simplify our tax code, move toward a flat tax. And we are going to try to repeal every darn regulation," said Walsh.

In a quieter moment, the tea party stalwart with a national reputation for hyper-partisanship says he'd like to debate Duckworth more -- but she's ducking him

"Voters aren't going to like any candidate, Republican or Democrat, that doesn't get in front of them as much as they can," he told ABC7.

Duckworth just completed a five day so-called listening tour of the newly redrawn 8th District -- one that's more friendly to the Democrat, Walsh says, courtesy of Duckworth's key backers, senior Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"This district was drawn before I decided to get into the race and I had a pretty contested, spirited primary that I am very proud of, and I think Raja did a fantastic job. If it were drawn for me, I would not have had a primary, so I think that is a false assumption," said Duckworth.

Duckworth says she's committed to reducing the partisan rancor of Washington. But first she's focused on what the 8th District wants -- jobs and economic development.

"I hope to get to Washington and be that bi-partisan voice, to work with one another," Duckworth told the group.

Analysts have said the re-districting that led to the new map of the 8th District was specifically drawn to target Congressman Walsh.

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