Rebelling Republican Suburbs Offer Democrats Path to House Control

Rebelling Republican Suburbs Offer Democrats Path to House Control

HOUSTON — As she sat with a glass of sauvignon blanc waiting for a women-focused Democratic fund-raiser to begin, Nancy Sharp let loose in a Texas-seasoned drawl why she and so many other onetime supporters of the Bush family were abandoning the Republicans.

“Have you ever heard of a stupider and trashier man than the president of the United States?” asked Ms. Sharp, an interior designer who lives not far from the elegant condominium where about 75 women gathered this month to help the House candidate Lizzie Pannill Fletcher. “Calling a U.S. senator ‘Pocahontas’ in front of God and everyone!”

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NY TIMES: ‘No District Is Off the Table’: Health Vote Could Put House in Play

NY TIMES: ‘No District Is Off the Table’: Health Vote Could Put House in Play

WASHINGTON — In a suburban Chicago district, Kelly Mazeski, a breast cancer survivor, used the day of the vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act to announce her House candidacy, vowing to make Representative Peter Roskam pay for his vote “to make Americans pay more and get less for their health care.”

In western New York, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul has stirred talk of a congressional race with her slashing criticism of Representative Chris Collins, who rallied fellow Republicans to vote for the health measure, then conceded in a national television interview that he had not read the bill.

And in suburban Philadelphia, Chrissy Houlahan, an Air Force veteran challenging Representative Ryan A. Costello, said she would make Mr. Costello’s decision to support the bill in committee, before opposing it on the floor, a central issue.

It is far too early to determine whether 2018 will bring a political wave, but the House’s approval of a deeply unpopular health care bill on Thursday has handed Democrats a potent line of attack for the midterm elections. While Republicans believe that fulfilling a seven-year promise on health care will energize their base next year, Democrats are anticipating a backlash that may put in jeopardy a Republican House majority that once seemed unshakable.

Democrats are recruiting challengers aggressively, even in conservative-leaning districts, importuning an eclectic group of could-be candidates that includes a Minnesota gelato baron, a former candidate for governor of Kansas and the mayor of Syracuse.

DAILY HERALD: Democrat joins field challenging Roskam; seizes on health vote

DAILY HERALD: Democrat joins field challenging Roskam; seizes on health vote

Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam’s vote to repeal Obamacare is propelling a Barrington Hills plan commissioner to challenge him in the 2018 election.

Democrat Kelly Mazeski declared her candidacy Thursday as the U.S. House voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, in favor of a controversial GOP replacement.

She joins a number of Democrats who are challenging Roskam, among them former Naperville School District 203 board member Suzyn Price, congressional aide Carole Cheney of Aurora, and his 2016 rival attorney Amanda Howland of Lake Zurich.

Mazeski, who survived breast cancer, criticized the Wheaton Republican for supporting the American Health Care Act that GOP leaders are spearheading, saying it would mean skyrocketing health insurance for Americans age 50 to 64.

“It’s time the people of Illinois’ 6th District hold Peter Roskam accountable for voting to make Americans pay more and get less for their health care,” Mazeski said in a statement.

“The Affordable Care Act had become weak and fragile. It pushed a lot of people out of the health-care market,” Roskam, of Wheaton, said in explaining his vote.

Roskam has easily batted away opponents in the 6th District since a tough election fight and narrow victory over Sen. Tammy Duckworth in 2006. But his seat has been targeted by the Democratic National Committee in 2018 and there’s been pushback in the form of protests from voters who say he’s out of touch.


WLS-TV: Dem. Kelly Mazeski challenging Roskam with healthcare focus

WLS-TV: Dem. Kelly Mazeski challenging Roskam with healthcare focus

CHICAGO (WLS) — Healthcare will be a hotly debated subject in Illinois’s 6th Congressional District where U.S. Representative Peter Roskam was re-elected.

Democrats are planning a strong challenge to his re-election.

One of the challengers is a cancer survivor.

“If you told me I would be standing here running for Congress, I wouldn’t believe it,” said Democrat Kelly Mazeski.

But Mazeski is believing it now. The 57-year-old mother of two is determined to win the Democratic primary in the 6th Congressional District and take on incumbent Roskam.

“This is personal for me in this race,” said Mazeski. “He is out of touch, been in this too long, he doesn’t know what it’s like for American’s to walk this walk.”

When it comes to navigating health insurance, Mazeski said she has walked the walk. As a cancer survivor who once lost her health insurance and as a mother of a daughter with a rare medical condition, Mazeski is basing her campaign on the fight to keep the Affordable Care Act. She said voters must hold Roskam accountable for the vote he took Thursday to repeal the ACA.

“I couldn’t ask for a more critical time to launch my campaign when so much is at stake with people with pre-existing conditions,” Mazeski said.

The 6th District covers parts of five counties. Roskam’s seat is one the Democratic Party believes it can win, and resources from both parties are likely to pour in. Thursday, Mazeski tried to gain support from a group called the Brown Bag Progressives. The group is made up of mostly women who said they are determined to elect a Democrat who has what it takes to beat Roskam in a politically diverse district

“Women are very important in this district, it’s a well-educated district and women are ready to go,” said Sue Walton of Brown Bag Progressive.

“I think this election and current administration has really woken people up and made them think it starts at the electoral base,” said Gail Vandale of Brown Bag Progressive.

Mazeski is one of several Democrats planning to challenge Roskam. Her political experience includes serving as a village trustee in North Barrington and serving on zoning and plan boards. She also volunteered for the Obama campaign and worked for former Congresswoman Melissa Bean.