Illinois' 6th congressional district election, 2006

Illinois' 6th congressional district election, 2006

Illinois' 6th congressional district election 2006 was one of the closest races in the 2006 house elections. The Democratic nominee was army veteran Tammy Duckworth and the Republican nominee was State Senator Peter Roskam. With incumbent Henry Hyde (R) retiring after 16 terms in the US House of Representatives, the seat for the Illinois 6th was left open for the 2006 elections. On November 7, 2006, Republican Peter Roskam defeated Duckworth 51.3% to 48.7%, keeping Illinois' 6th congressional district in Republican control.

The party primaries for the election were held on March 21, 2006. The Republican nominee was Peter Roskam, an Illinois State Senator representing Illinois 48th district who lives in Wheaton, Illinois. Roskam ran unopposed in the primary.

Democratic primary

The Democratic primary winner was Tammy Duckworth, a decorated Iraq War veteran. On March 21, 2006, Duckworth won the Democratic primary with 44 percent of the vote against 2004 Democratic nominee Christine Cegelis, who received 40 percent, and Wheaton College professor Lindy Scott, who received 16 percent. [Congressional Quarterly. [ Illinois U.S. House democratic primary results] . March 21, 2006.] Duckworth is a resident of Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Although part of Hoffman Estates is within the sixth district, Duckworth lives three miles outside of the district. [ No shared opinions] By Eric Krol, Daily Herald Political Writer. September 23, 2006.] She lives in a disabled-accessible house which was refitted for her access by friends. [ [ Duckworth leads all in 6th district] . By Marni Pyke "Daily Herald" Wednesday, March 22, 2006.] The U.S. Constitution requires only that a member, when elected, be "an inhabitant of the state in which he shall be chosen." Illinois does not have a district residency requirement. [ [ Hill News] March 9, 2006. (Dead link)]

Duckworth had never held office, and the 2006 race was her first campaign.


In May 2006, the Teamsters labor union endorsement of Roskam was announced by John Coli, President of Joint Council 25. [ [ Joint Council 25 Endorses Peter Roskam for Congress ] ] The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 also endorsed Roskam for the congressional seat. The Veterans of Foreign Wars organization also endorsed Roskam over Duckworth.

Tammy Duckworth was endorsed by the "Daily Herald", [ [ "For the open 6th District House seat: Duckworth"] Posted Sunday, October 15, 2006 "Daily Herald"] "Chicago Tribune", [ [,1,5442756.story?coll=chi-opinionfront-hed "For Congress: Duckworth"] October 18, 2006 "Chicago Tribune"] the "Chicago Sun-Times", [ [,CST-EDT-edits25.article "Our choices for the U.S. House"] October 25, 2006 "Chicago Sun-Times"] and the Pioneer Press. [,pp-6duckworth-102606-s1.article "Duckworth for Congress" October 26, 2006 "Evanston Review"]

The candidates debated on WTTW/Channel 11 (October 23), WBEZ radio (October 19), WBBM radio (September 24), and at the College of DuPage (12 October). []

Events leading up to the 2006 election

In August 2006, the Roskam campaign used Republican Party stances for an American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) survey. The answers related to Medicare, Social Security, insurance plans and retirement. Democratic opponents characterized it as plagiarism. [Fox News Channel. [,4670,RepublicansSurvey,00.html Candidates Duplicate in AARP Survey] . August 31, 2006.]

On September 10 2006, The "St. Louis Post-Dispatch" reported that "Roskam is trying to use immigration as an issue against his Democratic rival, Tammy Duckworth, in their race for the House seat being vacated by Republican Henry Hyde." [ [ St. Louis Today] . (Dead link)]

Controversy erupted on September 21 2006 when the Duckworth campaign accused Roskam of using the term "cut-and-run" in reference to Duckworth's Iraq strategy. Roskam's campaign manager denied that they had made such a statement saying Roskam was "misquoted" and "misrepresented". [" [ Duckworth camp: 'Cut and run' crude: Roskam team: He never said that] " By Scott Fornek "Chicago Sun-Times" Sept 27, 2006]

A fundraiser for Roskam and David McSweeney was held on October 12 2006 at the Chicago Hilton. President George W. Bush and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert headlined the event. [" [,CST-NWS-SWEET08s1.article Hastert scratches New York fundraiser] " BY LYNN SWEET October 8, 2006 Chicago Sun-Times. (Dead link)]

On October 24, actor and Parkinson's disease sufferer Michael J. Fox appeared at a fundraiser for Tammy Duckworth at Arrowhead Golf Course in Wheaton, supporting Duckworth's stance on embryonic stem cell research. [ [ "Actor Michael J. Fox To Appear At Duckworth Rally"] , Tuesday, 24 October 2006 10:13AM] Roskam held a simultaneous press conference featuring a cancer survivor who was treated with his own cells. [ [ Michael J. Fox to appear at rally for Democrat Tammy Duckworth] October 23, 2006]

On October 30, Roskam attended a fundraiser with Senator John McCain. McCain had cosponsored the immigration bill that Roskam criticized as "amnesty". [ [,CST-NWS-mccain31.article "McCain, Roskam overlook differences"] October 31, 2006 "Chicago Sun-Times" BY Paige Winfield. (Dead link)]

Roskam placed television ads that accused Duckworth of wanting to raise Social Security payroll taxes. According to the "Daily Herald", the AARP mailed out thousands of letters to the Sixth District denouncing the ad as misleading. [ [ Social "Security is late issue in House races"] By Eric Krol. Daily Herald. November 02, 2006]

In the week before the election, according to the "Elk Grove Times", the National Republican Congressional Committee paid a Richmond, Virginia contractor to make automated phone calls (robocalls) to voters, criticising Tammy Duckworth's positions on issues, that began with "Hi. I'm calling with information about Tammy Duckworth..." and did not identify its source until late in the call. The Duckworth campaign said that the message’s failure to identify its source made many people believe the message came from the Duckworth campaign, hurting its ability to speak to voters. The Duckworth campaign characterized the calls as harassment. [ [,eg-chrobocalls68-110206-s1.article 'Robocalls' are latest in negative campaigning] November 2, 2006 By Patrick Corcoran "ElkGroveTimes" November 2, 2006. (Dead link)]

The Arlington Heights "Daily Herald" reported that the NRCC spent $9,000 on robocalls to help Peter Roskam in a single week. This translates into approximately 180,000 calls. [ [ "They have your number"] By Stacy St. Clair Sunday, November 5, 2006. Daily Herald.]

The NRCC released a statement in response claiming the messages were in compliance with the law and compared them to similar ones made by DNC Counsel Joe Sandler. [McGahn, Donald F. General Counsel, NRCC. [ NRCC Phone call press release] . November 6, 2006.] The Federal Trade Commission Telemarketing Sales Rule excludes political calls, since they are not included in the definition of telemarketing. [Federal Trade Commission. [ FTC Consumer Alert] .] No FCC or FTC fines have been issued for robocalls relating to the 6th district 2006 congressional campaign in Illinois.

Campaign contributions

Roskam trailed Duckworth in fundraising. Roskam raised $3.44 million vs. Duckworth's $4.52 million, but started the fall campaign with more cash on hand, due in part to not having a primary challenger. Roskam was more dependent on contributions from PACs: 56% of Roskam's donations and 82% of Duckworth's donations came from individuals. [ [ Congressional Races ] ] 87% of Roskam's contributions and 51% of Duckworth's contributions came from the state of Illinois. [ [ Illinois District 6: 2006 Race Profile ] ] Top zipcodes of contributors for Roskam were Wheaton, Glen Ellyn and Hinsdale. Duckworth's top zip codes were Chicago, Winnetka and New York City. [ [ Illinois District 6: 2006 Race Profile ] ]

According to FEC filings, both candidates received donations from various political action committees. [ [ FEC Disclosure Report Search Results ] ] [ [ FEC Disclosure Report Search Results ] ] As of June 30 2006, Roskam received more contributions from political committees formed by sitting legislators than any other non-incumbent Congressional candidate in the nation. A Roskam campaign spokesman credited House Speaker Dennis Hastert for those contributions. [ "Duckworth raises $844,000 in 2nd quarter" Patrick Corcoran July 20, 2006 "Pioneer Press"]


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