blog

Running for Re-Election


I want to let you, my friend and supporter, know that I have decided to seek reelection to my seat in the House of Representatives. 
 
As you probably know, I seriously explored mounting a campaign for the U. S. Senate instead of running for the House.  We did polling, traveled around the state, talked to Democratic leaders and grass roots voters in Illinois and around the country and became convinced that I would have a very strong chance of winning a Senate race.
 
But this is a very special moment in history, one that I have worked and waited for my entire career, and I decided that in order to run for Senate I would simply have to divert too much time and energy to do the massive amounts of fund raising required by a serious Senate bid.
 
I feel confident that I could raise the $10 million need for a primary race – and the $16 million plus needed for a general election campaign – but to do it I would have to become a telemarketer five to six hours each day. 
 
 Over the next two years, Congress has the opportunity to provide health care to all Americans, begin on the road to energy independence, remake the financial regulatory system, pass immigration reform and help transform our relationship with the rest of the world. I think the next two years present a once in a lifetime opportunity to make progressive change. I want to devote my energy to help make these things a reality, and decided that I simply couldn't do it if I ran a vigorous campaign for Senate.
 
As most of you know, I work closely with President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  I serve in the House Democratic Leadership, and on the Energy and Commerce Committee that is crafting health care and energy reforms.  I am also the  Chair of the Sub-Committee on Oversight and Investigation of the Intelligence Committee that is working to make sure we never again allow agencies of our government to use torture, illegal wiretaps and the abuses of civil rights that we saw during the Bush years.
 
I believe that we have entered a period in history like the New Deal or Civil Rights Movement when we have the opportunity to make fundamental progressive change.  I don’t know how long that period will last, but I do know that for me personally, at this moment, I need to do everything I can every day to achieve the kinds of changes that we often can make only once in a lifetime.
 
I feel privileged to have the opportunity to serve Illinois’ 9th District in the U.S. House and I look forward to continuing to represent you there.  I thank you so much.