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*** UPDATED x1 *** Report: Simon turned down Democratic offer

Monday, Oct 31, 2011

*** UPDATE *** On the one hand, this may actually be a bit of good news for the Democrats because it means that the Madison and St. Clair county parties won’t go to war over this seat

Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis said Monday she will not seek the congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville, who is not seeking re-election.

Callis issued a statement: “After receiving strong encouragement from numerous people that I respect and admire, discussing with my family, and seriously considering it, I have decided not to run for the 12th Congressional District, a seat currently held by a man I admire very much, Rep. Jerry Costello.”

The statement continues: “I came to the conclusion that at this time, I could not leave a community that I love, employees and colleagues of Madison County Circuit Court that have become like family to me. I consider it an honor to serve the people of the 3rd Judicial Circuit as their chief judge, and my immediate plan is to run for retention and hopefully continue to serve the citizens of the 3rd Judicial Circuit to the best of my ability.”

On the other hand, Callis would’ve probably been a far better candidate than the guy the St. Clair County people are backing.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* The number of Democrats declining to run for Jerry Costello’s seat keeps rising

Office-holding Democrats are falling all over themselves not to run for the seat long held by outgoing U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville.

The latest name to surface as a possible Costello replacement is Democratic Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon. Her campaign office said Friday she was approached about entering the race by some individuals in the southern part of the 12th Congressional District, which runs from Madison County to the southern tip of the state. But she declined to do so in order to fulfill her four-year term that began in January.

Simon is at least the eighth prominent Democrat to decide against running for the seat since Costello made his surprise announcement Oct. 4 not to seek re-election to a 12th term.

I had a story for subscribers about this district today, but it got cut for space. I’ll probably run it Wednesday. The Democrats are in real trouble here if they don’t get their act together.

* But there are some hard feelings developing on the other side of the ticket as well

Former Belleville mayor Rodger Cook says the Republican Party chairmen of Madison and St. Clair counties Saturday tried to get him to drop out of the race for a congressional seat, but he’s in it to win it.

The two party leaders, Jon McLean of St. Clair County and Deb Detmers of Madison County, said the purpose of their meeting Saturday with Cook wasn’t to dissuade him from running. Detmers said the purpose was to give Cook “a realistic assessment” of what it will take to win the race.

Cook said McLean and Detmers “made it pretty clear” that they want him to bow out of the race so that fellow GOP candidate Jason Plummer of O’Fallon can win the party’s nomination in the primary election, which is March 20.

* Meanwhile, as subscribers and readers of the Team America blog knew early this morning, state Sen. Suzi Schmidt won’t run again

Republican State Senator Suzi Schmidt has announced she will not seek re-election in the wake of the fallout from a domestic disturbance.

Last December Schmidt called 911 following an incident with his husband. she implored a dispatcher not to respond to her husband if he called police. Initially Schmidt refused to step down.

* Her statement

“I am grateful for the outpouring of support; however, at this point in my life, my personal life and my family are my priority, and I hope to dedicate more of my time with them in the coming months and years. Therefore, I will not be a candidate for re-election in 2012.

“I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to my constituents for the tremendous honor and opportunity to serve in the Senate and for the opportunity to serve Lake County for the past 25 years. I am thankful for the trust they bestowed upon me to serve them for so many years. I am humbled by their unwavering support and honored to have been able to represent them.”

* Background for those with short memories

On a 911 call her husband made during another fight, on Sept. 26, Schmidt can be heard in the background admitting she had bitten him. At first, she denied doing it but later is heard saying: “You bet I did.”

Neither Schmidt nor her husband ever was charged as a result of any of the calls.

In the aftermath of those disclosures, Schmidt clung to the possibility she could put the dispute behind her and remain politically viable, issuing a public apology, announcing she intended to seek counseling and stating she planned to keep circulating nominating petitions.

Her refusal to step down or drop plans to seek re-election triggered potential primary opposition. Former Lake County Board member Larry Leafblad stepped forward to say he intended to run against Schmidt in a Republican primary.

* From Team America’s scoop

The word is that Joe Neal (who happens to be the son of Bob Neal, a long-time Lake County GOP Chairman) will run, and he may have the backing of some prominent Lake County GOP-ers. Joe Neal is currently Newport Township GOP chairman.

* And Illinois Review is reporting that a tea party candidate is jumping in

Round Lake’s Lennie Jarratt is announcing the formation of an exploratory committee to seek the 31st State Senate District.

Illinois has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Springfield and local politicians have raised taxes and fees driving businesses out of state. Illinois now has an unemployment rate of 10% and Lake County has the highest property taxes in the Midwest. We must change the people and the culture in Springfield. I am running to change Illinois; restore jobs; and lower taxes.

* In other news, I think I’ve told you about this before, but I don’t think we really discussed it. The state’s GOP chairman is making a big endorsement in a local primary race

The state’s Republican Party chairman will help lead Kevin Burns’ campaign in the Geneva mayor’s quest to become the chairman of the Kane County Board.

Party chairman Pat Brady was named Tuesday as the first of Burns’ campaign chairmen. Burns will face state Sen. Chris Lauzen in the Republican primary in 2012. […]

It’s no secret that the powers that be despise Sen. Lauzen, but this is an unusual move for a party chairman.

* Related…

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- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - OneMan - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 12:56 pm:

    The Kane County Board Chairman’s race is going to be really entertaining. I think it is going to be the civil war the party has been building up to some degree out here.

    Brady stepping in for Burns going to be very polarizing out here and it will be interesting to see how much it helps. It will help Burns with money, not sure how much it is going to help with votes.

  2. - too obvious - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 1:09 pm:

    Actually not unusual at all. Pat Brady also endorsed Mark Kirk in the contested senate primary last year. Brady’s state chair predecessor Andy McKenna openly sided with Topinka in the 2006 gubernatorial primary. It goes on and on.

    Lauzen just likes to think he’s special.

  3. - Dirty Red - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 1:27 pm:

    I can’t imagine Simon would have done well in a district that has turned more and more to the Tea Party. She was also unable to deliver the southern counties in 2010 (partly because the campaign had her in the collars and central Illinois).

    I’m sure the poll conducted by the institute carrying her Father’s name showing Quinn at 35% played a factor in the decision as well. Otherwise it would have been a good move for her given her determination to stay close to Carbondale.

  4. - Team Sleep - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 1:46 pm:

    Is Pat Brady really that upset about Lauzen’s continued push for the direct election of state central committee members that he is willing to get involved in the nitty gritty of a county board chairmanship primary?! Too Obvious, those are not quite the same as a sitting party chairman involving himself or herself in a race that doesn’t involve state or national implications. Then again, it’s not easy to tell the boss what to do - especially in politics.

    I think Sheila could’ve done well because she won a race bigger than city council. That does count for something. The national Congressional and Senate campaign arms love seeing people who have been elected to a higher office or hold a leadership position run for Congress or Senate because it adds legitimacy and a resume to their resume. The following statement may not seem smart now, but trust me: when the TEA Party types were announcing their candidacies in early 2009, the NRCC wasn’t too happy and tried finding other, more “qualified” candidates (i.e. state reps, mayors or county board chairs) who would be willing to run against Dem incumbents.

  5. - Wensicia - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 1:50 pm:

    I think Suzi Schmidt is doing the right thing; you can’t be a successful candidate while publicly fighting your husband.

  6. - anon - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 1:52 pm:

    “I got this thing, and its f’ing kryptonite!”

  7. - KaneGuy - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 2:25 pm:

    With Lauzen, I think there is a tendency to cry wolf a bit too much. He’s upset about Pat Brady, but he didn’t have a problem hiring the Kane County GOP Chair, Denny Wiggins a few years ago to work on his campaign. He had Denny on as a paid consultant. Brady is volunteering his time. Added to that, Lauzen is supporting candidates all over Kane County to run against incumbants. The old phrase - “good for the goose, good for the gander” comes to mind.

  8. - too obvious - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 2:30 pm:

    How about Randy Ramey. He’s DuPage GOP Chair and he’s not just endorsing, he IS the candidate for state senate. Lots of other similar examples.

    Doesn’t make it right but outrage is so selective in the IL GOP. Lauzen like most doesn’t say a peep when someone else’s ox is being gored.

  9. - Rich Miller - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 2:35 pm:

    Who’s outraged?

  10. - too obvious - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 2:37 pm:

    Lauzen and his peeps.

  11. - VanillaMan - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 2:51 pm:

    Simon? Wow, what a lame idea. Who is she supposed to appeal to? Remember that mayoral race a few years ago?

    I’m sorry there is a problem trying to find a candidate. I understand. Looks like a waste of money.

  12. - LocalGovGuy - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 3:49 pm:

    Has anyone published what if any impact winning the County Board Chair will have on Lauzen’s pension?

  13. - beans - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 4:03 pm:

    Why in the world would Brady, who supposedly represents all Illinois Republicans as the chairman of the party, get directly involved in a campaign with a mayor (Repub? Dem?) running against an incumbent Republican? Sounds personal to me, and if it is, he shouldn’t be the party chairman.

  14. - The Captain - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 4:11 pm:

    Another one declines

  15. - Just Sayin' - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 4:15 pm:

    And now Judge Callis refuses to run. Things aren’t looking good for the Democrats holding the 12th C.D. I’m sure the DCCC is more than a little frustrated.

  16. - Team Sleep - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 4:25 pm:

    Judge Callis’s announcement is not good news for the 12th CD Dems.

  17. - Bubs - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 4:34 pm:

    I think the DCCC frustration is just beginning. Jason Plummer will be a strong, well-financed GOP candidate in a GOP year. Who needs a black eye?

  18. - E Pluribus - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 6:10 pm:

    Lauzen doesn’t just infuriate GOP leaders. Much of the rank and file see through his schtick. He has no accomplishments to speak of, other than condescendingly lecturing everyone about how virtuous he is.

    He has no leadership skills or exec experience. Fortunately a lot of Kane voters have his number, just like Brady.

  19. - simon still hasnt won a race - Monday, Oct 31, 11 @ 10:26 pm:

    sheila didn’t win any race–she was appointed to the light gov position and then ran under the governor’s flag. She would get creamed in CD12.

  20. - Steve Downstate - Tuesday, Nov 1, 11 @ 7:16 am:

    As someone who lives in a neighboring district, I’m very sorry to see the Dems pretty much write off the 12th. Jason Plummer will be well-financed, yes, and he will do a good job of smiling for pictures on his website and looking serious when he’s talking to small business people, but does anyone really believe that he’s ready to sit on congressional subcommittees and really deal with the finer points of public policy? Anyone catch his appearances on Chicago Tonight — either his solo appearance or his debate with Shelia Simon?

    I’m dismayed that every Dem who could be a viable candidate is willing to just let Jason waltz in as though he’s really ready for prime time. I get that Costello’s district is turning more Tea Partyish, and that Costello’s hold on it was due in part to his conservative record. But Jason Plummer? Please.

  21. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 1, 11 @ 8:04 am:

    –I think the DCCC frustration is just beginning. Jason Plummer will be a strong, well-financed GOP candidate in a GOP year. –

    Why will it be a GOP year? As far as I can tell, the GOP is busy carving itself up right now. Where’s the great surge that signifies “GOP” year?

    By the way, we just had one of those in 2010.

  22. - Colossus - Tuesday, Nov 1, 11 @ 10:49 am:

    If you think Jason Plummer will be a strong candidate, you haven’t been paying attention to what he actually says. It’s easy to make a nice website and some good mailer pieces, but those tried and true standards in politicking don’t let constituents actually get a feel for a candidate.

    Once Jason has to actually start gladhanding and speaking off the cuff, he’s going to turn into a very entertaining trainwreck. Unfortunately, when the wreck loses momentum ,it’s apparently going to come to rest on the Hill.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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