(CBS) — On the very day U.S. House Republicans voted to throw out Obamacare, a suburban Democrat is launching her campaign against one of Illinois’ most prominent members of Congress.
Her own health care journey is at the very heart of her campaign, says CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley.
“I didn’t choose to get cancer. My daughter didn’t ask for a medical condition that was a huge burden on her life for several years. I can’t begin to tell you how personal this is for me,” Kelly Mazeski says.
The 57-year-old survived breast cancer and had to find insurance for a daughter with pre-existing conditions. These are two keys to why she’s making health care the centerpiece of her campaign against Republican Congressman Peter Roskam.
“I want to make sure everybody has insurance and we find a way to make this work, so nobody has to go through what I’ve gone through,” she says.
Roskam, a 10-year incumbent, on Thursday voted to replace Obamacare, citing soaring premiums, fewer providers — and guarantees to protect pre-existing conditions.
Mazeski calls those provisions inadequate.
“That’s a really scary thing, and that could price people out of the market,” she says.
Democrats, meanwhile, accuse Roskam of ducking constituents.
Roskam insists he prefers telephone town halls to confrontational meetings in person.
Still, Democrats see him as vulnerable because Hillary Clinton won his traditionally Republican suburban district.
Mazeski has local government experience. She served on the North Barrington Village Board and the Barrington Hills Plan Commission.
Other Democrats are lining up to take their shot. At least four are now in the race, with more reportedly mulling over a challenge.
A spokesperson for Roskam declined comment for this report.