Three North Shore Republicans have started campaigning and circulating petitions for their party’s nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 10th Congressional District.
Doug Bennett of Deerfield, Sapan Shah of Libertyville and Jeremy Wynes of Highland Park are the three candidates so far who said they plan to run for the Republican nomination in the March 20 primary.
The winner will oppose Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) in the November 6, 2018, general election. No other Democrats have announced plans to run. Nominating petitions for all primary candidates are due December 4.
Shah is an entrepreneur as well as a physician with a law degree. A resident of Libertyville, he founded Flagship Health in 2007 and continues to operate the company today. The company advises doctors about malpractice and other business issues.
Wynes, an attorney who lives in Highland Park, has devoted the last nine years to political work. He held positions of Chicago-area director and Midwest regional director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee before starting the Chicago office of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Bennett is a Deerfield resident who works for Havi, a company that deals with the global supply chain for major multi-national companies. A mathematician by education, he does analytics for the business. He is also the vice chairman of the West Deerfield Township Republican Organization.
Wynes is running to give the district the independent leadership he said was provided by former Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) and former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Highland Park). Kirk held the seat from 2001 through 2010 when he was elected to the Senate. Dold was in the position from 2011 to 2013 and again from 2015 to 2017.
“I am running to be part of the governing wing of the Republican Party,” said Wynes. “I want to go there to get things done and work across the aisle.”
Bennett said politics has been a passion for a long time, and that he now wants to put it into practice. He wants to help reduce regulation and allow the business community to have the freedom it needs to create jobs and stimulate the economy.
“I believe in innovation,” said Bennett. “A free market economy is the best way to do that. There will be more innovation with free market solutions.”
Shah said he wants to bring back the concept of citizen legislators, which he believes was the original concept of the “people’s house.” He believes in term limits and said that if elected he will limit himself to three terms.
“Being an entrepreneur, I know what government needs to do to get out of the way so business can grow,” Shah said. “I want to go to Congress to bring solutions, and then (after three terms) turn it over to another citizen legislator.”
All three candidates have distinct positions on the role government should play in healthcare and the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. They also think changes are necessary in the Internal Revenue Code.
Though Bennett wants to see the Affordable Care Act repealed, he said he wants a market fix increasing competition among health care providers so health insurance is more affordable.
“This is a private enterprise problem,” said Bennett. “If we have to have the right incentives, private enterprise will do the right thing.”
Using his background in the healthcare field, Shah said there are issues the Affordable Care Act did not address. He believes changes to create more competition among healthcare providers will lower the costs. He has a different idea to promote competition.
“We can reduce the price (of healthcare) with more transparency at the patient level so they know the cost and improve the market dynamic,” said Shah. “It will work really well in non-emergency situations.”
Wynes said competition among insurers would become more intense if barriers keeping insurance companies out of the market are removed. He said giving insurers the ability to compete across state lines would help make the cost of insurance more affordable.
“In Lake County we’re down to one insurer,” said Wynes referring to the availability of insurance in the district. “That’s not how to get an independent market place.”
When it comes to taxes, all three candidates want to see a simpler tax code with lower rates, but they offered different ideas on how to achieve it. Shah said reducing taxes would create economic growth. He also wants to make sure budgets are balanced over time.
“Last year we spent 118 percent of the revenue we took in,” said Shah. “We need to ratchet it down two to three percent a year until we get to 100 percent,” he added, indicating he wants to see the budget balanced within five years.
The most important issue for Wynes is tax reform. He said there has not been an overhaul of the tax code in 30 years and it is time.
“We need to lower the rates and broaden the base,” said Wynes. “We need fewer breaks. We need to clear out the massive breaks special interests have been carving out over the last 30 years.”
Bennett said it is time to “scrap” the current tax laws and begin anew. He said he wants lower rates and a reduction in the number of tax brackets. He admits it will take some effort but said good ideas make a difference.
“If you have a good answer you get problems solved,” said Bennett. “We want free market answers, with limited government giving individuals choices.”
The 10th District includes much of Lake County as well as parts of Cook County in the north and northwest suburbs. It takes in all of Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Highland Park, Highwood, Glencoe and Deerfield as well as parts of Northbrook and Glenview.