Ilya Sheyman, a 25 year-old community activist, is running for Congress in Illinois, vying for the Democratic nomination against Rep. Robert Dold (R), a freshman some Democrats think they can beat in the fall.
Sheyman has the backing of progressive groups like MoveOn and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and he wants voters to know it -- his first TV ad, out Monday, might be the most openly "progressive" campaign spot in recent memory. The word "progressive" is mentioned three separate times and it comes out of Sheyman's own mouth as the closing line.
This is the kind of thing the national progressives backing Sheyman want to see. His ad is aimed directly at Brad Schneider, a businessman who has the Democratic establishment behind him and whom progressives view as too much of a Blue Dog for their tastes. They want to defeat canddiates like him and put people like Sheyman in the fight against the GOP in the fall.
And they think ads like Sheyman's -- strongly pushing himself as a progressive rather than shrinking away from the title -- is the kind of messaging that can win against the GOP. Take a look: