Photo by Natasha Korecki
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) said Illinois could contribute five needed seats this November to boost Democrats into the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"The path to a majority for Democrats runs right through Illinois," she said. "We have the opportunity to pick up -- out of the 25 net seats we need to gain -- we can pick up five here in Illinois -- Danny (Davis) and I will be able to serve in the majority if we do our job here in Illinois."
Schakowsky ticked off a handful of races in Illinois, including the heated 8th congressional race between Tea Party incumbent Joe Walsh and Democrat Tammy Duckworth.
Schakowsky called Duckworth, a veteran who was injured in combat, a "true hero." Duckworth is scheduled to speak tonight at the convention.
"Her opponent, I believe, is an embarrassment to the United States Congress and to the Republican party," Schakowsky said of Walsh. "We can win this race. Joe Walsh is really an accidental member of the house of Representatives, winning by only 200 votes."
Schakowsky said "we have a better district now," referring to the congressional remap, redrawn favorably to the Democrats.
Walsh, of McHenry County, has cast Duckworth as an insider and criticized her for traveling to Charlotte. Walsh did not attend last week's Republican convention in Tampa.
"Ms. Duckworth has continued to show more interest in rubbing elbows with big name party insiders, then staying home and tackling the tough issues facing voters in the district," Walsh wrote on his campaign Web site.
Schakowsky also singled out former U.S. Rep. Bill Foster.
"Bill Foster in the 11th District is coming back. Bill is a great member of Congress," she said. "He is a scientist. We need a little Science in the United States Congress. By the way, Todd Akin is on the science committee, OK? We need Democrats to dominate the science committee, obviously."