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Thorner: 10th CD GOP hopefuls face Lake Forest/Lake Bluff GOP women’s club



Bennett Shah Wynes 012718

By Nancy Thorner - 

The Women's Republican Club (WRC) of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff, in conjunction with its Annual Meeting, hosted three 10th District GOP Congressional candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives at Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest on Saturday morning, January 27th:  Doug Bennett, Sapan Shah, and Jeremy Wynes.  All three are running in the Illinois Republican primary slated for March 20, 2018, in what will be a much watched and expensive campaign cycle. 

The winner will face incumbent Democrat Brad Schneider in the general election on November 6, 2018.  

At the brief meeting prior to the formal introduction of Bennett, Shah, and Wynes, the following members were installed as WRC officers for 2018.

  • Hilary F. Till, President
  • Michelle Parnell, 1st Vice President
  • Lisa Roti, 2nd Vice President
  • Angie Sage, Recording Secretary
  • Susan Somberg, Treasurer

As the longest continually operating political organization of its kind in the area, founded in 1941, the WRC www.womensrepublicanclub.com  exists "to assist local, state and national Republican candidates win elective office; to assist elected Republican officeholders with constituent interface, and to educate all voters on issues important to the maintenance of our Constitutional republic and the social and economic vitality of Illinois and our local communities." All men and women are welcome to join wherever they reside.

The event was free and open to the public, but donations were accepted to defray the expense of the candidate forum.  The event also created lots of interest in attracting an audience of 50, all eager to hear the positions of each candidate, so as informed citizens they could be armed with the knowledge to select which candidate to vote for in the upcoming March 20th Primary.

Candidates Present Themselves

With all three candidates seated at a table facing the audience, Club member Jennifer Neubauer presented the rules that would apply as each candidate made the case for his candidacy.  Each candidate was initially given five minutes for his formal presentation.

Doug Bennett 012718Douglas Bennett lives in Deerfield with his wife and their three children.  Bennett is a historian and a mathematician with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Northwestern University.  As a Software Solution Architect Bennett provides Fortune 500 companies with innovative, cost-effective technology solutions.  Bennett sees the need to stop electing politicians who let us down when they go to Washington and vowed to work for our shared values in Congress. 

Bennett's shared values include cutting taxes for hard-working families and businesses; repealing and replacing Obamacare with affordable market-driven options; and reducing wasteful government spending, fraud and abuse to win back the people's faith in government through honesty integrity and hard work.   Education also rates high with Bennett, as to his concern about the need to curb runaway college tuition costs and making sure that every child has access to quality education which is outcome driven.  

Bennett believes that his career as a successful business consultant will help him bring real world experience and solutions to Congress.

March Primary:  March 20th, 2018.

Jeremy Wynes 012718Jeremy Wynes resides in Highland Park with his wife and three children.  He wants to provide a new generation of leadership in Congress for the people of IL-10 and doesn’t feel the current congressman is representing the district in true spirit of the voters in 10th District. As an independent voice Wynes prides himself on being fiscally conservative but socially moderate, much like Republicans Bob Dold, Mark Kirk and John Porter who have held the seat since 1980. Wynes further embraces the importance of working across party lines to deliver real results.

Jeremy favors job creation with raising wages brought about by overhauling the tax code and supporting trade policies; cracking down on wasteful spending in Washington, D.C. by holding government accountable to protect taxpayers, and making sure our schools are preparing our children for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

Because Jeremy has 9 years of experience working for the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, he believes his biggest strength is foreign policy and is in favor of bipartisan U.S. foreign policy outcomes. As such he’s dedicated his career too ensuring America’s foreign policy keeps us and our allies safe.

Sapan Shah 012718Dr. Sapan Shah is a physician and entrepreneur who lives in Libertyville, IL with Rachna his wife. As the son of Immigrants from India who moved to Waukegan where Sapan was born, Shah referred to himself as “the embodiment of the American dream.” After graduating from high school, Shah earned his bachelor's degree in two years, his law degree in two years, and his medical degree in four.

Dr. Shah is president and founding partner of a malpractice insurance brokerage Flagship Healthcare in Chicago, which provides insurance and risk management solutions for more than 800 doctors and several hospitals throughout the country. Its purpose is to enable doctors to spend their time practicing medicine.  As such, Dr. Shah feels qualified to address the health care crisis that is facing this nation today by reducing medical costs and by fixing our broken health care system.  Shah also wants to cut taxes, reduce spending, and help small businesses thrive, which he referred to as the "lifeblood of our economy." 

Dr. Shah is running for Congress because he believes government should be run by citizen legislators, thus putting the American people back in charge of their government.   Shah wants to serve a maximum of six years and then pass the torch along to another.

As it has in the past, the race is likely to be one of the most competitive and one of the most expensive in the country.

Question asked by those in attendance

It was during the question and answer time that differences in what candidates stood for were revealed.

  1. What is your opinion of DACA and Immigration?

Bennett:  Cannot solve the problem piece meal.  Solving DACA and border security must go together.  Chain migration must end, the lottery system must be replaced with a skill-based system, and the wall must be built.  We have the right to decide who should be here and who shouldn't.  1986 was mentioned when Reagan gave millions of illegal immigrants citizenship, but the wall was never build.

Wynes:  All for giving DACA recipients citizenship. He doesn't agree with Trump on immigration. Any work on the issue must be done in a bi-partisan way.  He likewise feels the same about the Republican's American Health Care Act and would have voted against it. 

Shah:  Believes in permanent status for DACA recipients, that this nation has benefited from immigration over time.

  1. What is the nature of the Constitution?

Bennett:  Believes that the Constitution is what it says and it’s not up to the people to change the meaning of things just because they want to. 

Wynes:  Opted for an in between position.  Recognized that the Constitution was plain in what it said, but that circumstances do change over time.

Shah:  Opted for an in between position but went further.  Suggested that we have smart people on both sides who differ with how the Constitution is interpreted.

  1. How do you stand on abortion?

Bennett:  A pro-life candidate.

Wynes:  A pro-choice candidate.

Shah:  A pro-choice candidate.

  1. How do you rate President Trump's foreign policy?

Bennett:  Pleased that foreign policy was moved away from Middle East policy to North Korea. Supports Trump

Wynes:  Satisfied with the job Trump has done in the Middle East, but not pleased with the Iran deal.  Work should be done to unify the Korean Peninsula.

Shah:  Wants to hasten the downfall of North Korea.  Of the opinion that not enough time or attention was given to the reunification of the Korean Peninsula under South Korean leadership.

There were two questions on which there was agreement by all three candidates, 1) that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capitol of Israel and 2) that they would be able to raise enough money to go up against incumbent Democrat Brad Schneider in the 2018 mid-term November election.

Information about Primary Election Voting: March 5, 2018: First day of early voting for counties who have early voting at permanent polling places other than the office of the election authority.

March 15, 2018:  Last day for the election authority to receive application by mail from any registered voter.

March 19, 2018:  Last day for early voting.

March 20, 2018:  Primary Election Day


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