Candidate Who Rode Tea-Party Wave in 2010, Then Lost in 2012, Plots Return to Congress

In this Nov,. 5, 2012 file photo, U.S. Rep. Bob Dold, R-Ill., greets commuters as he campaigns at a downtown Chicago rail station. Dold narrowly lost in the November election to Democratic businessman Brad Schneider in Illinois' 10th District. On Wednesday, May 8, 2013, Dold announced in a letter to supporters that he's decided to run for his former seat, which stretches north of Chicago to Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)
National Journal
Cameron Smith
Aug. 28, 2013, 3:30 p.m.

One of the most wrench­ing con­gres­sion­al races in 2012 took place in the 10th Dis­trict of Illinois, where first-term Re­pub­lic­an Rep. Robert Dold lost by a mere 1 per­cent to Demo­crat­ic chal­lenger and now-Rep. Brad Schneider.

Dold, 44, had the odds against him for a second term after re­dis­trict­ing ad­ded some heav­ily Demo­crat­ic areas and even carved his home out of the map. But as the elec­tion re­turns came in from the north Chica­go sub­urbs on Nov. 6, Dold moun­ted what looked like an in­sur­mount­able lead of thou­sands of votes.

By the end of the night, though, Schneider pulled ahead, with help from early and ab­sent­ee bal­lots that were coun­ted last, ac­cord­ing to the Daily Her­ald news­pa­pers of north­ern Illinois.

Yet just six months after the tough loss, Dold an­nounced in May that he wants a re­match with Schneider next year.

“With deep re­flec­tion, and strong sup­port from you, Dani­elle and our kids, my fam­ily, and friends,” he wrote in a let­ter to sup­port­ers, “I wanted to share with you first that I’ve made the de­cision to step for­ward and run in 2014 to rep­res­ent the 10th Dis­trict of Illinois.”

In an in­ter­view this sum­mer, Dold says it was not an easy de­cision to make an­oth­er run. “My kids are be­gin­ning to try new things,” said Dold, who has three chil­dren ages 6 to 11. “It wasn’t an ‘of course you’re gonna run’ scen­ario,” he em­phas­izes. “The de­cision was made after talks with neigh­bors, friends, and my fam­ily.”

Dold adds, “It’s not a con­veni­ent time to run. But I be­lieve it’s so im­port­ant now.” Dold was swept in­to Con­gress in the tea-party wave of 2010.

Eco­nom­ic is­sues will be at the heart of his cam­paign, prom­ises Dold, who has gone back to run­ning Rose Pest Solu­tions, Amer­ica’s old­est pest con­trol com­pany. The busi­ness has been in the fam­ily for dec­ades. Dold’s grand­fath­er and fath­er were both pres­id­ents of the Na­tion­al Pest Con­trol As­so­ci­ation, and his moth­er was pres­id­ent of the Na­tion­al Pest Man­age­ment As­so­ci­ation.

“It’s a role and re­spons­ib­il­ity I take very ser­i­ously,” he says of his pro­fes­sion­al life. “But the gov­ern­ment was mak­ing it harder for me to stick my key in the door of my busi­ness every morn­ing.”

COR­REC­TION: The head­line in an earli­er ver­sion of this story in­cor­rectly de­scribed Robert Dold as a tea-party can­did­ate.

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