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Bean Still Down vs. Walsh, But Hopeful

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Joe Walsh, Melissa Bean

Joe Walsh and Melissa Bean, 2010 Republican and Democratic candidates, respectively, for the 8th Congressional District. (Walsh for Congress/CBS)

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CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) - U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) is not conceding defeat to Republican opponent Joe Walsh, despite a 347-vote deficit in the vote count.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports, Bean represents parts of Lake, McHenry and suburban Cook counties. She is trailing the Tea Party favorite Walsh, but she hopes 1,500 ballots still uncounted will change that.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s John CodyReports

Asked if she’s optimistic, Bean responded: “I’m just waiting patiently for them to do their work so we can see what the results are. What I will say is we’ve been encouraged by the trend, and that the more they count, the better we’ve done. It hasn’t gone back in the other direction. It’s just continued to narrow, and we hope that continues.”

Walsh is banking on the fact that most of the ballots yet to be counted are from Lake and McHenry counties, which have been favoring him in the race.

Bean also said she’s not surprised that Walsh plans to attend freshman orientation for new Congressmen in Washington, which is permitted by Congressional rules.

Walsh declared victory back on Nov. 3, after the intial count showed him far ahead. He ran his campaign according to the so-called “28 founding principles” of the United States, “not the least of which are limited government, free enterprise and the rule of law as established by our Constitution.”

Government spending, gun rights, and curbing illegal immigration were among the major themes of his campaign.

In the last few weeks of the campaign, the Bean campaign began airing attack ads portraying Walsh as a right-wing extremist.

The ad campaign took Walsh to task for supporting concealed weapons, calling for the abolition of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and calling for a ban on abortion without exception, including in cases of rape and incest.

Sound bites used in the ad showed Walsh saying, “We’re at the beginning of a war,” “This is a revolution,” and, without specifying what he is talking about, “Some people may say that’s reckless, but so what?”

“Reckless? Joe, that’s dangerous,” Walsh says in the ad.

Walsh took Bean to task for the ad in his own campaign video.

“Melissa Bean, you’ve got to be kidding me,” he said. “Ten percent unemployment, foreclosures up throughout our district, people’s entire savings wiped out, our economy is in tatters – and you attack me for my position on abortion?”

The 8th District was represented for 35 years by Republican Congressman Phil Crane. Bean unseated him in 2004.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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