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Jay Hoffman moves closer to run for Congress

Thursday, Sep 1, 2011

* From a press release…

Former State Representative Jay Hoffman will file paperwork with the Federal Election Commission this week to form a committee to explore a bid for Congress in Illinois’ new 13th congressional district.

“While Illinois families are hurting, those in Congress have failed miserably to create jobs, get our economy going, or seriously reduce the deficit,” said Hoffman. “Like most Americans, I am disgusted with Congress’s failure to get things done. Central and Southwestern Illinois need a voice in Washington that will work in a bi-partisan fashion to find common-sense solutions to put people back to work.”

Hoffman has authored a book “Hope from the Heartland: Jobs, Clean Air, Energy Security,” that outlines how the Midwest can lead the nation in research and the production of alternative energy by utilizing the Midwestern state’s natural resources to create jobs in the declining manufacturing sector.

Hoffman said he will immediately begin travelling the district talking about jobs and the economy directly with the district’s voters and expects to make an announcement of candidacy by the end of September. This weekend Hoffman will appear at several events honoring working families as part of Labor Day festivities. On Sunday Hoffman will appear at the Laborers Labor Day picnic in Decatur. On Monday Hoffman will participate in the Decatur Labor Day parade and will appear at Labor Day picnics in Bloomington-Normal and Champaign-Urbana.

Filing paperwork with the FEC is the first step towards running for Congress. Creating a committee will allow Hoffman to raise and spend money on behalf of his candidacy.

Hoffman lost his state House seat last year in a close and bitter election and then voted for the income tax hike two months later, so that won’t help him much. He is, however, a very energetic campaigner. He does have baggage. He was, after all, Rod Blagojevich’s House floor leader. But unlike many around the former governor, Hoffman was not tainted all that much by Blagojevich’s criminal trial. No shoes dropped.

Your thoughts?

[Fixed headline because I was distracted and wrote something inaccurate.]

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Red - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 11:09 am:

    Go Get Em Jay! No one will outwork Jay that is for sure… I think he is perfect for that District. He will give Johnson a run for his money in what is a toss-up district. Johnson should not have voted to cut medicare, medicaid, and social security.

  2. - OneMan - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 11:12 am:

    How did he vote on impeachment? Didn’t he vote present or something?

  3. - Elo Kiddies - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 11:16 am:

    @ OneMan: Hoffman voted to impeach. Only Mell voted anything other than “yea.”

  4. - siriusly - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 11:23 am:

    Hoffman is a guy with nine political lives, but he’s used up maybe 7 of them. Baggage and all, I think he will actually win.

  5. - LincolnLounger - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 11:24 am:

    After blowing smoke up Blago’s skirt for years and being the principal for the trial lawyers in Springfield, I’m guessing the chickens come home to roost for Jay when the U.S. Chamber, et al, exact their revenge.

  6. - Just Sayin' - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 11:34 am:

    Hoffman can raise money, he’s great in a new district consisting of so many college campuses in a presidential election year, and he can match Johnson’s campaigning energy. Jay barely lost to Shimkus for Congress several years ago in a district which was more conservative than the one he could be running in now. If he’s in, this could be a real horse race between Jay and Johnson.

  7. - Bill - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 11:38 am:

    Maybe if Jay is in Congress he can Rod a pardon or some time off.

  8. - siriusly - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 11:56 am:

    Just Sayin’ : I agree that I think Jay can win - but too often the “college” voter is mis-interpreted as a D vote when they aren’t always and they don’t even vote most of the time. IMHO the college student vote turnout is mythical at best.

  9. - Red Cup - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 12:05 pm:

    “While Illinois families are hurting, those in Congress have failed miserably to create jobs, get our economy going, or seriously reduce the deficit,” said Hoffman. “Like most Americans, I am disgusted with Congress’s failure to get things done. Central and Southwestern Illinois need a voice in Washington that will work in a bi-partisan fashion to find common-sense solutions to put people back to work.”

    Good grief Jay, you have been in the majority for eight years and now you are campaigning against the very things you caused.

  10. - anon - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 12:11 pm:

    As a Democrat, I’d be disappointed if Hoffman was the nominee in a district we’ve got a shot at. He’s just got too much baggage. Just wait until the GOP dumps a few hundred thousand on tv with the Blago stuff, the tax hike, etc. Tim Johnson and the Republicans have to be loving the chance to take on Hoffman.

  11. - Happy Day - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 12:14 pm:

    Yes, Republicans have to be thrilled. The one part of the district that knows Hoffman, kicked him out. The rest of the district knows only that he and Blago are friends.

    Dems ought to hope Gill beats him.

  12. - The Captain - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 12:25 pm:

    This sets up well for Jay, someone who even on his worst day always has more allies than enemies. Should be fun.

  13. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 12:27 pm:

    Ugh. This is the best the 13th District Dems can do?

    Downstate Dems need to build a better bench like yesterday.

  14. - Madison County Voter - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 12:29 pm:

    I wonder if local voters haven’t delivered the message they meant to deliver to Jay, and now will be much more willing to give him another chance. In all the negatives in his last race, I never got the sense that voters didn’t like Jay, they just were mad at him for the Blago stuff.

    I think, especially in Collinsville and Edwardsville townships, Madison County voters forgive him and this becomes a race with pumped up youth turnout for Obama on the college campuses further north.

    The real question will be what happens with his state PAC warchest?

  15. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 12:48 pm:

    MCV, are you talking about a PAC or just his campaign fund?

    Isn’t he grandfathered in to the old system so can use that money for personal use if he likes?

  16. - Cleavers & Knives - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 12:53 pm:

    I have personally seen Jay Hoffman campaign and believe he sticks to what he says when he is at voter’s doors. A genuine guy who will go fight to the very end for what he believes is right. As a voter in his new congressional district, he will have my support.

  17. - Madison County Voter - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 1:00 pm:

    Yes, just thinking of his own campaign fund. That’s a large stash of money to leave unused. Guess he could cash out the grandfathered amount, pay taxes and donate it to himself for a congressional campaign. If not, he could make many friends in the new district making donations to state and local candidates and groups.

  18. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 1:21 pm:

    - Just Sayin’ - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 11:34 am:

    “Hoffman can raise money, he’s great in a new district consisting of so many college campuses in a presidential election year, and he can match Johnson’s campaigning energy.”

    If you think students make much of a difference, think again. Not only do they turn out at rates 25% lower than the most motivated individuals, but when they do vote, about two-thirds will vote in their home district. Of course, if you are talking about the overwhelming propensity of college teachers to vote Democratic, then you’re on to something.

  19. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 1:25 pm:

    ===but when they do vote, about two-thirds will vote in their home district.===

    There are something like ten universities in that district. UIUC, ISU, SIUE, UIS, etc., etc. It won’t take many students from each campus to swing a close election.

  20. - voteagainstyourown$interestvoteR - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 1:54 pm:

    Jay is hard working, good on the issues, and I wish him the best of luck, good year for the D’s

  21. - anon - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 2:13 pm:

    Jay is great. He is a guy with actual ideas, and he has great leadership skills. I will support him because he is my friend, but I wouldn’t wish a trip to congress to my worst enemy. We need him more here in Illinois where he can have a more direct impact on our daily lives. Go get ‘em, Jaybird!

  22. - walkinfool - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 2:41 pm:

    I actually read his book. It’s pretty good, and it is obvious that he wrote it himself — which is rare for politicians. At least he thinks through a lot of issues, without the likes of ALEC and lobbyists feeding him arguments. I wish him well.

  23. - katie - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 2:42 pm:

    Great news. The people of Illinois need a leader who will take the voice of the working class to Washington.

  24. - Outside looking in - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 2:45 pm:

    Worked with Jay on a number of legislative matters in the past–always found him to be thoughtful, engaged and intelligent on this issues. Plus a good guy to boot. He would represent his constituents well in Congress.

  25. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 3:18 pm:

    Cincinnatus -

    You don’t know what the heck you are talking about.

    Turnout among voters 35 and under is around 21% in gubernatorial elections, but in presidential election years that turnout doubles.

    The net result, because young voters dramatically outnumber older voters, is that in presidential election years there are about 40,000 more ballots cast by voters under 35 than over 65 in EACH Illinois Congressional District.

    Lots can still happen, but my bet is that the GOP is going to nominate someone so far to the Right for President that student turnout will not be a problem.

    Johnson is a tough campaigner, and has reached across party lines in Champaign County.

    But Hoffman has done the same in Madison County and has lots of friends in Sangamon County.

    And while Johnson has been an anemic fundraiser, Hoffman’s fundraising appetite is ginormous.

    It will probably be the best race to watch in Illinois, but I’d say Hoffman has the slight edge for now.

  26. - Bucket Head - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 4:05 pm:

    Whoever said Johnson is hoping for Hoffman is I’ll informed… Gill is a multiple time loser against Johnson and has never shown the ability to win. Not sure Hoffman can win, but I know he is an excellent campaigner and has a workig man’s heart. He has a real shot! I believe his Dad was a union coal miner and he has always been a stalwart supporter for the “working class.”. Congress needs more guys like him.

  27. - aufjunk - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 4:10 pm:

    Interesting that, shortly after testing the waters for a run against the very beatable Tom Holbrook of Belleville for the IL house, he decides to go for US house in a different part of the state. Sounds like he got some feedback from those of us who paid attention to his six years in lockstep with Blago.

  28. - indydem - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 5:09 pm:

    BucketHead isn’t looking “inside the numbers”– sure Gill lost to Johnson three times, but all that demonstrated was that Gill couldn’t win in a 70% GOP district– in almost every county in each election, he did 5 to 20 points better than the other Dems on the ticket– the crossover from Tim to Gill was substantial and will allow to Gill to win in this new district hands-down….Johnson is licking his chops at using all the Blago stuff, if Hoffman defeats Gill in March.

  29. - Yadi Dog - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 5:58 pm:

    Jay has fought hard to bring jobs and major work projects to the region. We need him back to represent the hard working individuals of Illinois! You have my vote!

  30. - Wiretwister - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 8:02 pm:

    Jay speifically opposed the UTC development that now is being bult in Marion. It would have provided thousands of union construction jobs, yet Jay ran them away. Jay is NOT for the union man in his former district

  31. - Cleavers & Knives - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 9:09 pm:


    Check the man’s voting record for working people. He brought thousands and thousands of labor jobs and dollars to the 112th.Perhaps you should review past capital bills and programs

  32. - pyrman - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 9:18 pm:

    Wiretwister–UTC was a boondoggle, the harm it would have done to local cities was much greater than the benefits of a few hundred union jobs for 6 months. Hoffman has backed union men and women 99% of the time.

  33. - Really - Thursday, Sep 1, 11 @ 11:08 pm:

    Some idiot decides to bring up the worst bill ever - Star Bonds. Hey bozo, not one thing, not even a good joke, has ever come up about Star Bonds in Marion. The developer promised the media “major tenant announcements” no later than December of 2010. Still not one word, what a boondoggle. Jay did the right thing and the voters know it !

  34. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Sep 2, 11 @ 7:28 am:


    I would question your theory. Look at what I said, the youth vote is always much less than the most highly motivated group in any election cycle, as I said above, 25% less. That number is shown in a number of studies that I will leave it to you to find yourself if you are so inclined.

    Furthermore, studies also show that students overwhelmingly vote in their home districts, another fact you can confirm with a minimum of research on your part.

    Thirdly, faculty in a university town are about 90% Democrat, another simple fact you can check out.

    What did I say that was wrong again, and who doesn’t know what they’re talking about?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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