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This just in… Costello to retire - Son not interested in seat

Tuesday, Oct 4, 2011

* 10:12 am - Congressman Jerry Costello’s office just confirmed that the longtime Democratic incumbent is retiring at the end of his term.

“It’s something that he’s been thinking about for a bit… It’s not a health concern,” said a spokesman.

More details as they arrive, but this is taking a whole lot of people by surprise.

* 10:20 am -
All heads will immediately turn to two people as possible successors. First would be Costello’s son, who was just appointed to the Illinois House. I have a call into him. The second would be former Rep. Jay Hoffman, who has already announced a congressional bid against Republican Tim Johnson. Hoffman was completely taken by surprise this morning, so it could be awhile before he gets his head around this thing.

* 10:23 am - The official retirement announcement will be at 11 o’clock this morning.

* 10:28 am - Other names that are being floated right off the bat by observers are Rep. John Bradley, St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly and St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern.

* 10:37 am -
The Hill has the statement

“It has been a privilege and an honor to serve in the U.S. Congress for the past 23 years. However, I said when I was elected in 1988 and many times since that I did not intend to stay in Congress forever as I had other interests that I wanted to pursue,” Costello said in a statement. […]

“You can’t go from 100 mph everyday and just stop—I intend to continue to go full speed pursuing other interests and opportunities that may come along,” said Costello. “I will miss the people but not the weekly commute from home to Washington, D.C.”

* 11:01 am
- Josh Kraushaar at the Hotline Tweets

The new Cook PVI for the Costello seat is D +2, was made “more” Republican in redistricting. Wonder if IL Dems spread too thin?

* Let’s go to the live-blogging software to make this easier. BlackBerry users click here. Everyone else can just kick back and watch…

…Adding… If you’re reading the live-blog, you’ll see that Congressman Costello says that his son, who is newly appointed to the Illinois House, has “no interest” in serving in Congress. That’s, by far, the second biggest news item next to the retirement announcement itself.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 10:16 am:

    That’s a surprising twist. Usually in these cases, the incumbent wins the primary first so they can get a son appointed to the ballot spot, a la Lipinski.

  2. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 10:18 am:

    IDOT Secretary, perhaps?!

  3. - East Sider - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 10:32 am:

    This is a shock to all of us in the Metro East. I was looking forward to Costello facing a tough general election for once.

  4. - Sportsman - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 10:35 am:

    We’re losing a good man.

  5. - Downstate Illinois - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 10:40 am:

    The 2012 polling for Congressionals Dems must be really bad.

  6. - Madison County Watcher - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 10:41 am:

    OMG. Unbelievable bombshell news in the metro-east. This shakes all kinds of things up.

    Democrats could not do much better than Brendan Kelly. He’s young, smart, likeable, and lacks any of the “machine” taint, plus he has a great law enforcement record.

    Biggest winner: perhaps, Jason Plummer. Although he would be the fourth person to enter the GOP primary in this race. One would think there will be more entries at this point. And none of the current entries are elected GOPers. Lucky for him that he televised his interest before anyone knew of Costello’s retirement.

    Complete guess: Wouldn’t Sens. John O. Jones or Kyle McCarter be intriguing candidates for this spot? That would end a contentious primary in the Senate GOP.

  7. - Peter - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 10:51 am:

    Talking with Costello II on and off air, I don’t get the idea at all he has his eyes on a higher office yet. He seems very down to earth and understanding that he’s just geting into this arena. That said, an opportunity like this could be hard to pass up and that read could be off…or just evolving.

  8. - Dirty Red - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 10:51 am:

    Kern has been doing some skull busting in Metro east. He’s apparently calling on police departments to investigate themselves for corruption. It’s a lousy way to hunt, but it makes for a great campaign line without exposing the real players.

    Bradley is da Speaka’s boy. Maybe.

  9. - Dirty Red - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 10:55 am:

    By Kern, I meant Kelly. Apologies.

  10. - anon - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 10:56 am:

    don’t count out John Bradley–this district was changed and Jefferson county was added in–the balance of power in a primary has shifted to southern Illinois, especially if there is more than one metro east candidate

  11. - Stooges - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 11:01 am:

    I don’t think Plummer of Hoffman live in Costello’s district.

  12. - just sayin' - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 11:04 am:

    I was going to ask about Jason Plummer but I see Madison County Watcher covered pretty well.

    Is Plummer a definite go? Any chance for any R in that new district? Hard to imagine but Plummer can at least show the GOP flag and who knows maybe get lucky.

    Would still rather see Plummer take on that do-nothing, pledge breaking Shimkus in the primary.

  13. - Sportsman - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 11:05 am:

    Folks, J. Bradley may be the horse to beat.

  14. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 11:05 am:

    –I don’t think Plummer of Hoffman live in Costello’s district.–

    Doesn’t matter, as long as he lives in Illinois. He could live on Lake Shore Drive or in the Shawnee National Forest and run for the district, if he wanted.

  15. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 11:05 am:

    Stooge, you don’t have to live in a congressional district to represent it.

  16. - Concerned Observer - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 11:15 am:

    Please, Bradley!

  17. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 11:22 am:

    {Doesn’t matter, as long as he lives in Illinois. He could live on Lake Shore Drive or in the Shawnee National Forest and run for the district, if he wanted.}

    Check with Dan Seals to see how that whole out of district thing worked out for him. The carpet-bagger label is a mill-stone around the neck that makes it really hard to swim.

  18. - John A Logan - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 11:22 am:

    Costello is the type to want to take care of family. I think he saw that Jerry Junior has a better chance of winning without him on the ballot. He has his years in for full retirement, and with republicans in control of the U.S. house Costello was losing some of his power. not to mention the polling after the Healthcare vote didnt help him out any either.

    All that said this still is a shocker. He would have still been able to beat anyone the republicans put up against him.

  19. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 11:29 am:

    Sheila Simon’s name hasn’t been mentioned?

  20. - soccermom - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 11:32 am:

    Classy statement by Shimkus.

  21. - Old Shepherd - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 11:33 am:

    That statement by Congressman Shimkus is one of the most gracious statements I have ever read in politics. He gets an A+.

  22. - soccermom - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 11:33 am:

    St. Louis media is crazy expensive, when you consider the amount you have to spend per viewer in Illinois. You’re paying a lot to get your message in front of Missouri voters…

  23. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 11:34 am:

    ===I think he saw that Jerry Junior has a better chance of winning without him on the ballot. ===

    Try reading before commenting.

  24. - John A Logan - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 11:37 am:

    Rich, try thinking before chastising. I meant Jerry Junior has a better chance at re-election to the State House.

  25. - Nikoli - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 11:56 am:

    Rich, I believe what John A. Logan was referring to was Jerry Junior’s race for State Rep and how he believes Junior will have an easier go without his dad on the same ballot.

  26. - LN - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 12:04 pm:

    maybe it’s just me, but I can’t see the DCCC paying big bucks to endorse a *new* candidate who is pro-life, pro-gun, and against gay marriage (Bradley). especially in a year when DC Dems are looking to strengthen their base. Rep. Bradley has done incredible things for the 117th. and with Illinois being the train wreck that it is, I think Rep. Bradley would better serve southern Illinoisans in Springfield, not DC.

  27. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 12:06 pm:

    Nikoli, could be, but still kinda weird, considering that part of the world.

  28. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 12:14 pm:

    {could be, but still kinda weird, considering that part of the world}

    Not that wierd considering that in 2010, and perhaps even more so in 2012, the greater motivation for people to come out and vote will be to come out to vote AGAINST someone, rather than FOR someone else.

    There also is plenty of “throw the incumbent out (no matter which party) sentiment” as well. Hence those coming out to vote AGAINST their congressman, may think they have an opportunity to vote AGAINST him twice if his last name appears on the ballot in two locations in their precinct.

  29. - Shore - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 12:14 pm:

    Republicans in Missouri gerrymandered carnahan-a st louis democrat out of a seat so if republicans can win this seat that’s taking 2 democrats down there out of jobs.

  30. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 12:19 pm:

    ==but I can’t see the DCCC paying big bucks to endorse a *new* candidate who is pro-life, pro-gun, and against gay marriage (Bradley)==

    I can. That’s how they keep/take a swing district.

  31. - Frank McClatchey - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 12:45 pm:

    Thanks for the long haul Jerry, you did Great, and will be missed…

  32. - PrecinctCaptain - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 12:59 pm:

    “Check with Dan Seals to see how that whole out of district thing worked out for him. The carpet-bagger label is a mill-stone around the neck that makes it really hard to swim.”

    Ask Allan West (R-Fla.) or Kathy Hochul (R-NY.) how carpetbagger attacks worked out on them.

  33. - PrecinctCaptain - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 12:59 pm:

    Correction: Kathy Hochul is a Democrat, not a Republican.

  34. - ts - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 1:06 pm:

    Jerry jr.just raised $150,000.00 last week at his fundraiser…expect the Costello family will continue to have a deep reach in the region.

  35. - East Sider - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 1:10 pm:

    There are 3 congressional districts (12, 13 & 15) running through Madison County, with Costello (12) taking in the western border and the river towns. Plummer and just about anyone else in Madison County live close enough to the 12th to run and it not be much of an issue. There are probably a few other potential GOP candidates in Madison County if Plummer opts out. I think Kyle McCarter also lives in the 12th.

  36. - Gregor - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 1:34 pm:

    Bradley talks like a good old boy, but underestimate him at your peril; I found him to be razor sharp and he deeply understands the people and area he works for. Expect a very srong campaign from that guy.

  37. - shore - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 2:17 pm:

    plummer struggled badly last october to answer basic questions in a debate with sheila simon, it was painful to listen to and this comes after years of watching the palins of the world butcher the english language and basic facts. he’s not cut out for congress.

  38. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 2:24 pm:

    Yikes Dems.

    Can’t help but be reminded of that poll showing Obama upside down all over Illinois but Chicago that came out the other day.

  39. - JP - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 2:37 pm:

    “palins of the world butcher the english language”
    vs. a party who elected the Daleys as Mayors of Chicago and brought Joe Biden to national office.


  40. - East Sider - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 2:46 pm:

    Outside of Jerry Jr, I don’t think many potential candidates could match Plummer’s name ID in southern IL right now, and they certainly can’t match the money he’d bring to the table.

  41. - anon - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 3:35 pm:

    I agree with those who say Bradley may be the man to beat, but is he a risk taker? Does he put his safe state rep seat on the line to run for a congressional seat when dems are polling in the toilet? He doesn’t seem to me to be a person who wants to end his political career.

  42. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Oct 4, 11 @ 9:45 pm:

    One GOP name I saw floated on Daily Kos that seemed to make sense but haven’t seen on Cap Fax is Brad Cole. Apparently he is Mark Kirk’s Southern Illinois director now.

    (There’s also the crazy prospect floated of a 2007 Carbondale mayoral rematch of Cole vs. Sheila Simon)

  43. - Steve Downstate - Wednesday, Oct 5, 11 @ 1:48 am:

    Hate to say it, but if Jason Plummer got elected to Congress, John Shimkus would begin to look like a Rhode’s Scholar. And Shimkus is about the furthest thing from a Rhode’s Scholar. (Look up Shimkus’s name in combination with coal and Genesis and you’ll find his Biblical explanation for why we don’t need to worry about pollution…an explanation he offered during a Congressional hearing.)

  44. - Louis Howe - Wednesday, Oct 5, 11 @ 5:33 am:

    Cong. Costello has been around long enough to experience two Democratic Party meltdowns, 1994 and 2010. At best it will be 2014 before Congressional Democrats will have a shot at the majority, and I expect Costello didn’t want to stay around that long.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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