Robert Abboud announces run for 16th Congressional District seat

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Businessman and nuclear engineer Robert G. Abboud announced July 30 he will challenge Republican Congressman Donald Manzullo to represent Illinois’ 16th District in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2008 general election.

Abboud, running as a Democrat, looks to run a campaign that relies on the values and priorities of the people of the district rather than on party labels. Prior to his election as mayor of the Village of Barrington Hills, Abboud served as a Village trustee for four years.

At the announcement, Abboud said: “I’ve grown tired of watching the news and throwing things at my TV. I’ve got grandchildren, and I cannot in good conscience leave them a crushing $9 trillion debt, fueled by a botched military adventure and an economy that has lost its strategic manufacturing base. I’m running for Congress to help put our country back on track. I want my grandchildren to know that the people who lead the smartest, strongest, richest nation can actually deal with the biggest challenges that face us, not just engage in bumper-sticker politics.”

Abboud continued: “Our current representative is out of touch with the concerns and values of the people in this district. He has been rubber stamping the failed policies of an administration that has become synonymous with mismanagement and poor leadership.

“There are many reasons why the job approval of Congress is so incredibly low—and one of them is my opponent.”

Illinois’ 16th Congressional District covers a large portion of northern Illinois, from Crystal Lake to the east to Galena and the Iowa border, including the cities of Rockford, Machesney Park, Belvidere and Freeport. The 16th District covers all or parts of Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Carroll, Ogle, DeKalb, and Whiteside counties, with a population more than 650,000.

Though long considered a “safe” district for Republicans, changing demographics and changing attitudes will challenge that assumption in 2008 Abboud said: “The debt is not a Republican or Democratic issue. Global warming is not a partisan issue. Party labels no longer have the hold they once did in parts of the country like ours, where people resent politicians using issues to divide them.”

from the Aug 1-7, 2007, issue

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