and his Democratic challenger in the Nov. 6 election, , spent the weekend meeting voters knowing the hardest part of their campaign lies ahead.
They already realize the campaign will be one of the most closely contested, watched and expensive in the country. They also understand in addition to the money they raise much will be spent by their national parties and potentially even more may come from outside groups exempt from legal spending limits.
Schneider had to combat the efforts of left leaning groups like during his primary campaign against three other candidates. The groups flooded 10th District mailboxes with advertising criticizing some of Schneider’s political donations.
“The primary showed us how the district will react to outside influences,” Schneider said Saturday at the opening of his Northbrook Campaign office. “The positive message will make the difference. I’m learning to live in a fish bowl. This will keep me focused.”
Dold recognizes there is nothing he can do about any money that may be spent on the race by special interest groups free from the donation limits that bind him and Schneider. He intends to focus on his record since starting his term in January, 2011.
“We have no control over that,” Dold said of the outside groups while greeting people at the Chicago Jewish Festival Sunday in Morton Grove. “What we can do is focus on what we have been doing the past 17 months, on the things that can be done for the people.”
Dold, who stressed his centrist, bipartisan approach to governance, said people were asking him questions about jobs, the economy and student loans. Moments later, Myrna Milstein of Buffalo Grove and her son, Mike Milstein, walked up to Dold.
“What’s important to us are student loans,” Myrna Milstein said. She and her son wore stickers supporting the reelection of President Barack Obama. “We want them (the interest rates) to stay low. I have two kids in college.”
Dold agrees. “We want to keep student loan interest rates low,” he said. “We passed it out of the House and it’s in the Senate.” The bill passed the lower chamber with a bipartisan majority, according to Dold.
The paths of Schneider and Dold nearly crossed Sunday at the Chicago Jewish Festival. They both had booths staffed with people all day.
Dold, who was at an event in Lake Villa Saturday, was at the Festival in the morning before attending a meet and greet in Glencoe later in the day. Schneider, who also had a full day weekend of campaigning, got to Morton Grove in the afternoon.
“I wanted to be there for the tribute to Debbie Friedman,” Schneider said. “We all grew up with Debbie Friedman’s songs.”
Friedman, who died at 59 17 months ago, is responsible for much of the music played and sung in Jewish liturgy today, according to Nancy Landsman. Landsman, who was at the Festival, is the cantor at Glencoe’s Congregation Am Shalom. “I studied with her, she taught me Hebrew,” Landsman said.