LIVE UPDATES: From the Dold Campaign Headquarters in Winnetka
Check back here for the evening's results for Bob Dold's U.S. House bid.
UPDATE 12:18 AM: Confetti scattered the floor after the announcement of Bob Dold's victory in the 10th Congressional District.
"This is the best news I've ever had in my life," said Susan Putman, a family friend and campaign volunteer from New Jersey. "We have been helping Bob through all the highs and lows. His challenge now is to make real change."
"It's a great feeling because the powers to be in Washington told us we weren't being negative enough," said Bill Ferguson, the man behind the "Dold with a D" ad campaign. "I feel vindicated because now I know you can be positive, fun and different and still win."
Kevin Kroeger, who's known Dold since 5th grade, said there was "never a doubt in my mind he could do it."
UPDATE 11:48 PM: Dold was met with cheers from hundreds of people hanging out as he walked into his campaign headquarters. Mobbed by supporters and campaign workers, Dold eventually made his way to the podium to give his victory speech.
Here are select quotes from the speech:
"They underestimated you and the people in this district."
"We have gotten to know every corner of this district. We've talked with people who wanted us to stop the partisanship and get our country back on track."
"I will work harder than anyone to make sure that we bring positive changes to the 10th District and to our nation."
"I can't say thank you enough, each and every one of you. Because of your efforts, I will be forever grateful."
"Tonight we are experiencing a new call to service all across the country. People of all backgrounds are being elected to serve their country in D.C. ... And make a difference, we will."
He thanked a long list of people, starting with his wife and family. He mentioned his mentors as a youth, including his scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts of America.
Dold gave a special thanks to his finance team who, he said, raised more resources than any other congressional campaign in the state.
He thanked his communications team, who "gave us some of the best political ads of the day."
"Now is the time we create jobs for all hardworking Americans and keep our taxes low. Now is the time that we take our country in a new and better direction."
"I will always remember that I work for you. The 10th District is my home and will always remain my home. ... I ask for your continued contributions of service and energy. God bless the 10th District, God bless America, and let's get to work."
Full audio and video of the speech will be uploaded after the conclusion of the victory celebration.
UPDATE 11:39 PM: Roars erupted throughout the Dold headquarters as the AP and Fox News have called the election for Bob Dold.
Music has started playing, and they are expecting Dold to walk through the door any minute.
The crowd has started up a loud and echoing "Sold on Dold" chant.
UPDATE 11:05 PM: Bob Dold's past has come back to haunt him in the best way possible; many of his family and childhood friends have campaigned and voted for him.
Family friend Barbara Mawicke supports Dold for "his principles and what he believes in, and I've known him since he was little," she said.
Mawicke met the Dolds through her children's school. The Mawicke and Dold children were friends in school, and now their children are buddies, as well. Mawicke has thrown an annual Christmas party with Judy Dold, Bob Dold's mother, for the last 25 years
Retired IBM marketer Lee Curtis said he has been friends with the Dold family for the last 35 or 40 years. He wrote letters to the editor in the Chicago Tribune to clear Dold's name after a Seals campaign ad said Dold is pro-life.
"He was always meant to be president of the United States," said family friend Sherry Fowler, whose son played football with "Bobby."
Michael O'Rourke, who was a grade younger than Dold and went to school with his sister, said it's no surprise to anyone that knew Dold as a youngster that people would gather for a victory celebration.
Dold's father, Bob Dold Sr., ran for office in the past, and his son used the leftover "Sold on Dold" posters to campaign for grade school student council.
"He has been campaigning inadvertently since he was born," Melinda Hurley, 41, said.
Not all memories are of the political sort.
Hurley said Dold was always a "leader" and "the guy you wanted to be around or associated with." Dold shares a June 23 birthday with Hurley's mother, Nancy Mead, and they call each other first thing on their birthday morning.
Mawicke recalled Dold's "great" performance as the lead in his eighth-grade production of "Bye-Bye Birdie."
"Many people have skeletons in their closets," Hurley said. "Bob does not."
UPDATE 10:42 PM: One of the marquee points in Dold's campaign is his experience as a small-business owner, but only a few supporters at his campaign headquarters tonight say they've used his business, Rose Pest Solutions.
"Their service was fabulous. They got all of my bats out of my attic," said Robert Alsaker, a Winnetka resident.
Alsaker admitted that his support for Dold had no connection with his experience with Rose Pest Solutions.
Melanie Peterson, another Winnetka resident, said she started using Rose because it was recommended to her.
Their service was excellent, she said. "They told me how to get rid of all the mice in my house."
Like Alsaker, Peterson did not know Dold was president of Rose when she began using the services.
Rose Pest Solutions is the oldest pest control company in the country, founded just after the Civil War, according to Charles Dold, Bob Dold's uncle.
Charles Dold worked for the company during World War II, when he was 15 years old. His father joined the company in 1922, and since then, the business has stayed in the family with Bob Dold, Sr., eventually handing the reins down to his son.
"I don't use Rose, but I am definitely changing exterminators now," Teri Heyden said. "I know if it's Bob's company, it will be reputable. I am more than happy to give him my business."
UPDATE 9:39 PM: Although everyone gathered at the Bob Dold campaign headquarters is keenly watching the results of the 10th Congressional District, many have their eye on other races around Illinois and the country.
The Illinois senate race between Mark Kirk and Alexi Giannoulias along with races in Nevada have generated the most fervor.
"I have been a supporter of Kirk since the first time he ran," said Judith Wentz, who went to Washington when Kirk was first elected to Congress.
Terry Brazeal, a 64-year-old retired campaign volunteer, hopes to see the Republicans win 55 to 60 seats in the house.
"I am basically watching the results for the whole House, but I am very interested in Nevada," he said.
Bob Stracks, 67, believes that a Republican governor in Illinois is the state's "last chance" to save itself.
"This state is in an economic and financial disaster," he said.
UPDATE 9:24 PM: NEW NUMBERS - Dold has 50.9 percent (79,620) and Seals has 49.1 percent (76,771), with 445 of 511 precincts reporting. All Lake County precincts are in.
UPDATE 9:19 PM: Large Republican victories were expected nationwide by many political pundits, and the crowd at Bob Dold's campaign headquarters cheered when Fox News reported Republicans had taken control of the House.
"That was expected. That's a good thing," David Cahnman, 52, said. "I hope it's bigger than just that."
Cahnman volunteered for Dold's campaign Tuesday, acting as a poll checker in the early morning. He said he knew the campaign especially needed volunteers on Election Day.
Cahnman hopes to see a large majority in the House and Senate of more than 60 or 70.
"If Republicans gain control of the House and Senate, they will control spending," he said. "The most important thing is economic growth for America."
UPDATE 8:53 PM: NEW NUMBERS - In Cook and Lake counties, Dold has 77,016 (51.16%), and Seals has 73,578 (48.84%), with 428 of 511 precincts reporting.
UPDATE 8:42 PM: Come election time, citizens seem to tire of the negative campaign ads that dominate television.
So Bill Ferguson, the owner of First Tuesday Partners, a political marketing company, decided to go for a different approach, creating ads for Dold's campaign that "people will remember."
"My approach is to make stuff that makes you laugh but still gets the message across," said Ferguson, a friend of Dold's since high school. "Let's show the people that this guy who is supposedly 'evil' is really a good guy."
Ferguson was the creator of the "Seals for Dold" ad that has garnered international media attention these past few weeks. The ad features footage of a seal endorsing Dold.
Ferguson was also behind the "Dold With a D not an E" campaign, poking fun at the similarities of Bob Dold's name to the Republican candidate from Kansas who ran against Bill Clinton in the 1996 presidential election.
"The response to the ads have been unbelievable," Ferguson said. "We are just trying to fight the negative with positive."
UPDATE 8:33 PM: NEW NUMBERS -- In Cook and Lake counties, Dold has 73,016 (51.4%), and Seals has 69,034 (48.6%), with 405 of 511 precincts reporting.
UPDATE 8:31 PM: Bob Dold's parents were not surprised when their son told them he wanted to run for political office.
"I think he's always liked politics," said Bob Dold Sr., Dold's father. "He's a man that makes up his own mind."
Starting in grammar school, Dold ran for positions in student council, and he was president of the student council at Denison University, where he attended college. He also worked in Washington as an investigative counsel for the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.
But his mother says his political experience isn't what brought people to the polls today.
"He's not really a politician," said Judy Dold, his mother. "That's what people are attracted to. He's a businessman."
Dold's family is very supportive of his political ambitions. They helped in his earlier campaigns by making posters. In this campaign, his three sisters, mother and "the Chief," as the elder Dold is nicknamed, have called voters and attended meet-and-greets.
"I have such conviction he's the right man for the job," Judy Dold said. "His integrity is impeccable and you can trust him."
UPDATE 8:18 PM: There was no distance too far to travel for some of Bob Dold's supporters.
Joey Kalmin, 19, flew in for the day from Maryland to vote and man the phones to get the vote out.
"[Dold] is a good friend of mine," said Kalmin, who goes to school at the University of Maryland.
Kalmin and Dold met when Dold and other primary candidates approached Kalmin and other Precinct Committeemen to explain why they were running for office. Kalmin also worked for Dold over the summer.
Kalmin said he supports Dold because he agrees with his policies.
"I'm particularly a conservative Republican and an environmentalist, even though those things don't usually go together," Kalmin said. "Dold represents the mold of Mark Kirk."
UPDATE 8:14 PM: NEW NUMBERS -- In Cook and Lake counties, Dold has 64,264 (51.43%) and Seals has 60,684 (48.57%), with 359 of 511 precincts reporting.
UPDATE 8:10 PM: More people are piling into the Dold headquarters in Winnetka, and most are gathered around two large projectors showing Fox News' coverage of tonight's national elections.
The crowd has cheered several times when Dold's name has flashed across the screens. With the results still coming in, many know there is still more work to be done.
"I'm positively delighted; nobody is more capable or deserving than Bob," said Don Forester, 70, a campaign volunteer.
"I'm elated, but still nervous," said John Nowaczyk, 32, a campaign volunteer in charge of phone calls in the Palatine area.
UPDATE 7:57 PM: With 91 of 290 precincts reporting in Cook County, Dold has 52.45 percent (17,971), and Seals has 47.55 percent (16,293).
UPDATE 7:44 PM: With 24 of 290 precincts reporting in Cook County, Dold has 52.21% (4,342) and Seals has 47.79% (3,974).
UPDATE 7:16 PM: The voting age may be 18, but there is no age requirement to be politically active.
Two Libertyville High School sophomores at Dold's campaign headquarters in Winnetka helped Dold in his campaign for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"I just really wanted to make a difference," Nick Kornhumel, 15, said.
"It's been a lot of hard work connecting with people and making phone calls," Michael Espositl, 15, said.
Espositl, who has been working with the campaign since January, got involved through his parents.
Both sophomores admit they skipped part of school today to help with the campaign, but they say it was worth it and expect a victory for the Republican candidate.
"Tonight is going to be a good one for Bob Dold, Illinois, and the country," Espositl said.
UPDATE 6:38 PM: Upon arriving at the Dold campaign headquarters in Winnetka, campaign team members were still working the phones less than two hours before polls closed tonight.
Some precincts in the 10th District, around six or seven, opened late this morning, so a judge ordered the polls to remain open for an additional hour.