Grabowski challenging Lipinski for 3rd District
Republican, age 46
Family: Married with four sons
Education: Attended Moraine Valley Community College and graduated from St. Joseph High School in Chicago
Work: materials supervisor at west suburban manufacturing company
Democrat, age 46
Home: Western Springs
Education: bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University, master’s degree in engineering-economic systems from Stanford University and a doctorate in political science from Duke University
Work: Former professor at University of Notre Dame and University of Tennessee; Incumbent.
Updated: December 2, 2012 6:09AM
WESTERN SPRINGS — The 3rd U.S. Congressional District race pits a Republican newcomer against a four-term incumbent.
In his second bid for office, Richard Grabowski, a manufacturing supervisor from Hometown, is trying to unseat Democrat Daniel Lipinski of Western Springs, a former engineer and political science professor.
The new 3rd District, redrawn by Illinois Democrats following the 2010 Census, includes parts of La Grange, Western Springs, Indian Head Park and Burr Ridge and stretches from Chicago southwest to Romeoville and Homer Glen.
Grabowski ran unsuccessfully in 2010 the Illinois House, but found the experience encouraging capturing about 30 percent of the vote. He decisively defeated two Republican opponents in the March primary.
“I think there’s a very good chance of actually taking the 3rd District back for the ordinary citizens who are no longer living under the fear of machine rule,” Grabowski said.
“In the general election, people can vote their mind without fear of losing their jobs in the city,” he said.
Grabowski describes himself as a constitutional conservative in favor of job creation through reducing business taxes and burdensome regulations. He also pledged to repeal the health-care law. Securing funding for projects in the district as Lipinski has done just increases debt, he said.
Lipinski defended his efforts to secure $160 million in federal funding since 2005 for projects, including $700,000 for the Stone Avenue station and $3.25 million for the parking garage in La Grange and $75,000 for police communication equipment in LaGrange Park.
“I take addressing the debt very seriously. I also have been a very strong proponent of members of Congress being allowed to earmark some federal spending,” he said. “This is not additional money; it’s just a question of who determines where some of that money is spent.”
Lipinski points to his efforts to improve the on-time record of the commuter line along the southwest suburban Heritage Corridor by bringing railroad and Metra officials together.
Lipinski also said he’s pleased his bill, the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, passed the House with bipartisan support and is awaiting Senate approval. The measure sets strategies to spur growth.
In addition to strengthening manufacturing, Lipinski advocates modernizing infrastructure, enforcing fair trade regulations, investing in innovation and improving education and training to help put people back to work.
A fiscal and social conservative, Lipinski has opposed federal funding for abortion, the Wall Street bailout, and portions of the health-care reform law, citing the need for revisions, rather than repeal.
“I’ve gotten a lot of support. People recognize what I’ve done over the last eight years in office, that I’ve listened to my constituents and been an independent voice in Congress,” he said.