Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) has made his first endorsement in a Democratic primary since leaving the Senate. He's putting his weight and the strength of his PAC, Progressives United, behind Ilya Sheyman, a community activist in his mid-20s running as the progressive choice in the primary to select which Democrat will get a shot at Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL), who some Democrats think is vulnerable this year.
Sheyman's progressive credentials are impressive: He's the former national mobilization director for MoveOn.org, and his campaign already enjoys the backing of that group as well as the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and former DNC Chair Howard Dean. With Feingold's endorsement, the IL-10 primary is shaping up to be a major battleground between progressives and the Democratic establishment. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer has endorsed businessman Brad Schneider in the Democratic primary.
"Ilya knows that being a true progressive is more than a slogan. ... His campaign has mobilized and united hundreds of volunteers demanding a fresh, strong voice in Congress,” Feingold will say in an email to his PAC set to go out Tuesday and shared with TPM. "This is exactly the type of candidate we as progressives must support, and with the primary almost here, now is exactly the time to step up and take action."
Since his defeat to Ron Johnson in 2010, Feingold has become an activist against new campaign spending rules. He recently joined the Obama campaign as a national co-chair.
Link to original article: Talking Points Memo