Meet Brad Schneider, the Democrat running to represent Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives

U.S. representative Brad Schneider talks gun violence, abortion and immigration ahead of midterm elections


Brad Schneider for Congress

Brad Schneider, who represents the 10th District of Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives, is a Democrat running for re-election in in this fall’s midterm.

Vanessa Moreno, News Editor

Congressman Brad Schneider (D-10) will be up for reelection against Joe Severino (R-10) in the Nov. 8 midterm election. He has represented Illinois’ 10th District, which includes Wonder Lake, in the U.S. House of Representatives for eight of the last 10 years.

At this point, Severino has not accepted our request for an interview.


Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’ll start with where I am at the moment. I have what I call the highest honor and greatest responsibility of my life — representing the 10th District of Illinois in the House of Representatives. 

What motivated me to run in the first place was my kids. I have two boys who were your age. I looked at the world and said, ‘We have a lot of challenges.’ If my generation doesn’t start tackling those challenges, your generation doesn’t have a real chance to achieve the hopes and aspirations you all deserve.

Prior to that, I had a career in business, working in industries from life insurance to transportation. I helped small and medium-sized companies grow, plan for the future, and make sure they could transition across generations.

Most important thing I can tell you is that I’m most proud of my two sons; they are now 28 and 29. My wife and I will be married for 33 years come November. We raised our boys here in the 10th DIstrict. We both made our careers in this area; this is our home, and I’m proud to have the chance to represent it. 


What is your proudest achievement in Congress?

So it’s funny I’ve been asked that question a few times. I think, at the moment, I’m extremely proud of a piece of legislation that was signed into a law as part of the Inflation Reduction [Act]. What this bill does is help [create] sustainable skies and incentives for increased production and utilization of sustainable aviation fuel.

Air travel accounts for about 2% of our total greenhouse gas emissions, and our bill is working to reduce that by 50%. The Inflation Reduction Act is the largest investment in addressing climate change this country has ever made. I’m just proud of my team for working with the airline manufacturers, environmental groups as well as administration to get it done in a way that brings the parties together.

The second thing I’m proud of is the way I work to try to get people to work together. It’s what I did in my business career, and it’s what I’ve done in Congress: working with Republicans and Democrats [as well as] people from larger states like Illinois and smaller states trying to come up with solutions to the challenges we face as a country.


How do you feel about current gun laws and policy?

I think we need to do a lot more to reduce gun violence in our county, and do it while respecting the Second Amendment. Lots of people [participate] in sport shooting, and that’s fine. I support the right to do that and enjoy doing so myself. 

But, we have an epidemic of gun violence in our country where 111 people die each and every day on average. We’ve seen it in mass shootings like what we experienced in Highland Park. We see it in the gun violence in our streets and communities. 

Two-thirds of all gun violence deaths are people dying by suicide. So I think we can do more by limiting access to military-style weapons and investing in universal background checks so that people that shouldn’t buy guns aren’t able to do so.

And at the same time, [we should be] working on investing in mental health resources for people who are struggling so they don’t lose hope. 


What do you think of Roe v. Wade being overturned? 

I was very disappointed that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. With the initial decision in 1972 — I was a young man in middle school. I think about the implications of [Roe v. Wade] over the last nearly 50 years. 

I really do believe it is every woman’s right to make her own choice about her body and healthcare in the privacy of discussions with her family and doctors. Roe v. Wade was the right decision-making legislation.

In fact, the House of Representatives after the decision over the summer to overturn Roe v. Wade [introduced] legislation that would make the policy of Roe the law of the land again. I think that’s what we should do. 


Why do you support the American Dream and Promise Act, which would grant aliens a path toward permanent residence?

First, I’ll tell you that I believe we need to have comprehensive immigration reform. Our immigration laws are woefully out of date and don’t address the world we live in today.

We need to address border security, making sure that people who come into our country are not people who want to do harm. We can do that with comprehensive immigration reform legislation. We’ve introduced legislation to previous congresses, and we’d love to see that become a path for the broader challenges we face. The DREAM Act is a piece of that.

“Dreamers” are people who came into this country as little kids and grew up in this country and did school in this country. Many of them have now gone to graduate college, started careers, started businesses, are doctors and parents — they’re not young kids anymore. 

I’ve talked to Fortune 500 companies and senior executives who said “Dreamers” are some of their most valued employees, helping grow the economy and creating jobs. I believe we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform to give confidence and stability to these young people. The DREAM Act is an important step. 


What else should voters know for this upcoming election?

Every voter needs to understand that [voting] is not just a privilege and a right but a responsibility. If everyone in this country were to cast their vote on Election Day, we would have far better outcomes. That’s not a partisan statement. That is a belief; that voting is the right of every citizen and that their vote will be counted.

It’s important that people go out and cast their votes. It’s also important that as they vote they do all they can to be educated on who the candidates are and identify which candidates best reflect their values and priorities. 

I’ve won the last two elections by 28 and 31 points respectively and I think that’s because I represent all voters in my district. I run as a Democrat, [but] I work very hard for all the voters in the 10th District as it’s been drawn, and I’m very excited about how the district is getting larger.