The Hotline has updated its rising stars list for Illinois.
# Carbondale Mayor Brad Cole (R): “Very politically savvy,” he was recently appointed the the state GOP central cmte. His only downside: He served in the admin of ex-Gov. George Ryan (R), “which could hurt him.”
# State Rep. Jim Watson (R): An Iraqi war vet, Watson was briefly considered as a running mate by Topinka. “Given his age, he has a long future in the party.” Could be a candidate to replace Reps. Ray LaHood (R) or John Shimkus (R).”
# State Rep. Aaron Shock (R): At age 19, Shock beat the President of his local school board. Now 23, Shock is seeking his second term from heavily Dem Peoria. He faces what will be one of the most expensive re-election bids in the state.
# State Rep. Roger Eddy (R): “Well-liked, respected on both sides of the aisle.” A possible future candidate for Congress.
# Alderman Ed Smith (D): While he’s older than others on the list, Smith just passed a smoking ban in Chicago, over the objections of Mayor Richard Daley (D). He’s currently pondering a county-wide bid for office in ‘08.
# State Sen./Rev. James Meeks (D): A strong ally of Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., (D), Meeks “has become a real powerhouse very quickly in the” legislature. Is considered a possible future mayoral or congressional candidate.
# Alexi Giannoulias (D): A former college basketball star at Boston University, Giannoulias comes from a banking family. Now, at 29, he’s making a run for State Treas.
# Madison Co. State’s Atty Bill Mudge (D): Is considered one of the front-runners when Rep. Jerry Costello (D) retires in IL 12.