New Members 2010 - Illinois


House 8

House 10

House 11

House 14

House 17

Date of birth: Sept. 15, 1959
Birthplace: Champaign, Ill.
Residence: Highland Park, Ill.
Occupation: Attorney, congressman
Education: B.A., Cornell University; M.S., London School of Economics; J.D., Georgetown University Law Center
Previous office held: Congressman
Family: Divorced

For 10 years, Mark Kirk held a suburban Chicago congressional district that routinely voted Democratic for president.

Still, Kirk was able to carve out an image as a centrist fiscal conservative, which helped him win election to the Senate over Democrat Alexi Giannoulias.

Kirk began his career in Washington working for his predecessor, Rep. John Porter (R-Ill.). He eventually rose to become Porter’s chief of staff. When Porter retired in 2000, Kirk ran for his seat and won. He also held jobs at the World Bank, the State Department and the law firm of Baker & McKenzie, an international practice founded in Chicago.


Birthdate: Dec. 27, 1961
Birthplace: Barrington, Ill.
Residence: Barrington, Ill.
Occupation: Works in the field of alternative investments
Education: B.A., University of Iowa; Master’s in Public Policy, University of Chicago
Previous office held: None
Family: Wife, Helene; five children

Republican Joe Walsh beat Democratic incumbent Melissa Bean in a race that went well past Election Day. The vote margin was so slim between the two that the contest wasn’t called until after Nov. 2.

He has lost in his two previous attempts for public office. In 1996, he ran in the state’s 9th congressional district and lost to longtime Democrat incumbent Sidney Yates. In 1998, Walsh ran and lost for the Illinois State House of Representatives.

He has worked with a Chicago-based boutique investment-banking group, Ravensgood Advisors, for the past couple of years. Additionally, Walsh has taught American government and American history at the community college level.

A native of Illinois’s 8th district, Walsh and his wife, Helene, have five children.

Date of birth: June 23, 1969
Birthplace: Evanston, Ill.
Residence: Kenilworth, Ill.
Occupation: Owner, Rose Pest Solutions
Education: J.D., Indiana University; M.B.A., Kellogg Northwestern School of Business
Previous office held: None
Family: Wife, Danielle; three children

Bob Dold followed the template of his predecessor in Illinois’s 10th Congressional District — Rep. Mark Kirk (R) — in labeling himself a social moderate and fiscal conservative. The formula once again proved successful despite the district’s left-leaning tendencies, as Dold topped Democrat Dan Seals on Election Day.

Dold highlighted his experiences in small business during a campaign season centered largely on jobs and the economy. Former New York City mayor Rudy Guiliani and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform both campaigned for him. He identified himself as a pro-choice candidate during the race, though he opposes partial-birth abortions and backs parental notification laws for teenagers.


Date of birth: Feb. 27, 1978
Birthplace: Kankakee, Ill.
Residence: Manteno, Ill.
Occupation: Pilot, Air National Guard; U.S. Air Force veteran
Education: B.A., Illinois State University
Previous office held: McLean County Board
Family: Single

Adam Kinzinger, a Sarah Palin-backed Air Force veteran, rode the GOP wave and knocked off first-term Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D) for the right to represent the north-central Illinois district.

The 32-year-old has a history of winning office at a young age — he beat a 12-year incumbent to win a seat on the McLean County Board as a college sophomore.

Kinzinger gained some buzz this fall when Time magazine named him one of its “40 under 40” civic leaders. During the campaign he called for making the George W. Bush-era tax cuts permanent, as well as arguing for more business incentives and limiting new spending to national security and infrastructure needs.

The Iraq vet told Time that his heroes are Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.


Date of birth: March 1, 1966
Birthplace: Park Ridge, Ill.
Residence: Winfield, Ill.
Occupation: State senator, vice president of Performance Trust Investment Advisers
Education: Bethel University; J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law
Previous office held: State representative, DuPage County Board member
Family: Wife, Christy; four children

Randy Hultgren bested Rep. Bill Foster (D) for the seat previously held by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R).

Hultgren won a competitive Republican primary, beating Ethan Hastert, the son of the former Speaker, by 10 points.

He served as a state senator and, during the campaign, mirroring many other insurgent Republicans, bashed Foster’s vote for the stimulus law, calling it “Bill’s boondoggle.”

Hultgren also criticized Foster’s vote for Democratic healthcare legislation, and the Republican touted endorsements including nods from Citizens Against Government Waste and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


Date of birth: Jan. 23, 1964
Birthplace: Rock Island, Ill.
Residence: Colona, Ill.
Occupation: Owner/operator, Saint Giuseppe’s Heavenly Pizza
Education: Attended Blackhawk College
Previous office held: None
Family: Wife, Christie; 10 children

Bobby Schilling rode the GOP wave to unseat incumbent Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill.). This was his first run for office.

Schilling linked Hare to the sour economy and persistent unemployment while emphasizing his own hard work as a small-business owner.

“I’m a guy that for the last 14 years I’ve fired up, from the ground up, my small pizza store, and, you know, worked my fingers to the bone, and, you know, had for the first three or four years really struggled to get by,” Schilling told ABC News.

Schilling was helped along by the National Republican Congressional Committee, which, sensing a pickup opportunity, devoted resources to the district and made Schilling part of its Young Guns program. President Obama had carried the blue-collar, western-central Illinois district with 57 percent of the vote in 2008.