McSweeney intent on beating Bean in '06

Investment banker-turned-GOP congressional hopeful David McSweeney said yesterday that he is willing to “put at least seven figures” of his own money into beating Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) next year.

Last week, McSweeney said, he filed papers with the Federal Election Commission stating his intention to run in Illinois’s 8th District. But he added that he would not formally announce the campaign until early June.
File photo
Rep. Melissa Bean could face banker David McSweeney in 2006.


Saying he has “a net worth in the millions,” McSweeney, 39, said he is nonetheless looking for outside help for now. In April, he hired fundraiser Laura Anderson and political consultant Jim Thacker; Thacker formerly worked for Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-Ill.). Also in April, Sweeney said, he quit his job at Banc of America Securities.

McSweeney portrayed himself in an interview yesterday as a “mainstream conservative … in the Reagan mode” who would represent the suburban Chicago district better than Bean does.

The first-term Democrat knocked off longtime Republican Rep. Phil Crane in one of the only upsets of 2004. She is widely regarded as one of the Republicans’ top targets.

Complicating matters for McSweeney is the fact that Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is said to be trying to clear the primary field for businesswoman Teresa Bartels, an Illinois Republican source said.
Also, there is some doubt about McSweeney’s abilities on the stump. “He might be able to win the primary, but if David McSweeney wins the primary it all but assures that Bean is reelected,” said the Illinois Republican, who is not affiliated with any congressional candidates. In 1998, McSweeney unsuccessfully challenged Crane in the GOP primary.

Bean spent the first quarter of the year aggressively raising money. Reeling in more than $450,000, the congresswoman had $359,000 on hand as of March 31.

Still, Democrats in Washington assume she will face a tough reelection, given that the district leans Republican and that many Republicans considered Crane a particularly weak incumbent.

Bean is one of a handful of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Frontline candidates. These candidates get extra support from the committee for their reelection campaigns.