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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