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Dold snags Illinois Education Association endorsement

Updated: July 26, 2012 6:40PM

Freshman Republican Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.) has snagged a rare and important endorsement in his bid to keep his North Shore congressional seat.

The Illinois Education Association, which represents most suburban and downstate teachers in Illinois, endorsed Dold over Democrat Brad Schneider.

“Rep. Dold has formed an impressive 10th District Education Advisory Board that has enhanced the quality of education received in his district,” IEA President Cinda Klickna said in a news release.

Teachers’ unions tend to favor Democrats, though they have worked in the past with Dold’s predecessor, Mark Kirk, whose mantle as a moderate Dold has tried to claim.

“This is one of many things that will go in keeping with being that thoughtful, independent leader the 10th district has had for years,” Dold told the Sun-Times Thursday. While Schneider, has argued that Dold is a conservative, not a moderate like Kirk, Dold said, “This is independent verification that he is misinformed.”

Schneider answered back Thursday with the endorsement of the state’s other major teacher’s union, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, which includes the Chicago Teachers Union. They have about 5,000 members in the 10th district, to the 6,268 members the IEA has in the district.

“Brad will be the type of strong advocate that teachers need in Washington,” said IFT President Dan Montgomery. “He understands that good education is essential to success in today’s global economy. He is dedicated to improving our classrooms, enhancing our children’s opportunities, and empowering our educators.”

Schneider’s campaign has pointed to some of the other groups whose endorsements Kirk used to claim as evidence of his independent streak ­— the League of Conservation Voters; the Human Rights Campaign — this time have gone with Schneider instead of Dold.

The newly redrawn district is more Democratic than when Dold won two years ago — in fact it has the highest percentage of votes for Obama four years ago than any congressional district represented by a Republican.

But the IEA’s endorsement will bring money and manpower for Dold, said Sean Denney, the IEA’s government relations consultant.

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