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*** UPDATED *** THIS JUST IN… Harriman drops out of congressional race… Costello, Sr. takes himself out of contention… Plummer responds

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

* 12:28 pm - Democratic candidate Brad Harriman’s campaign has just confirmed that he has dropped out of the 12th Congressional District race against Republican Jason Plummer.

* 12:30 - And here’s the press release…

“Today, it is with a heavy heart that I must announce that I am ending my campaign after consultation with my doctor. I know in my heart that this decision is in the best interest of the voters of southern Illinois who deserve a candidate that can withstand the pace that this race will require. My condition has noticeably worsened over the course of the campaign to the point that if I do not address it with surgery, I am facing irreparable damage. While it is non-life threatening, I need to address it now.”

Harriman has lived with the neurological condition without limitation or noticeable change since 2010, though he began noticing worsening symptoms in May and underwent testing to determine whether his condition had worsened. His physician advised of long-term and permanent injury if the condition is left untreated and allowed to worsen over the course of the campaign.

Harriman continues:

“I know the rigors that this campaign will demand, and I know that my health will prevent me from running the kind of campaign that southern Illinoisans should expect. Over the course of the past seven months of this campaign, I have been humbled by the support I have received from hardworking southern Illinoisans, and I will always be grateful to those that invited me into their homes and their businesses. For those individuals and the future of southern Illinois, I have confidence that the democratic county chairmen will work together in the most transparent way possible to select a candidate that will continue to fight for the southern Illinois way of life.”

Harriman was never considered much of a candidate. He wasn’t raising money. His campaign plan was in total disarray (if you could call it that).

Plummer, on the other hand, has had early support from the US Chamber and was looking to a lot of us like a winner. The Democrats will need to pick a strong, well-known candidate… and fast.

*** UPDATE - 1:14 pm *** Incumbent Congressman Jerry Costello, Sr. walked into House Speaker Madigan’s office a few minutes ago. Meanwhile, the DCCC reportedly wants either Costello Sr. or his son, Rep. Jerry Costello, Jr. to run for the seat. Rep. John Bradley’s name has been mentioned to me as well. Bradley has not yet returned my call.

*** UPDATE - 2:05 pm *** Costello, Sr. says he won’t run again

“Brad’s decision to end his campaign due to health problems is understandable, and I wish Brad the very best in the future.

The law is very clear on the procedure to select a successor. The Democratic party chairs from each ofthe12 counties in the congressional district will meet to decide on a candidate to fill the vacancy. Each chairman will have a weighted vote based on the number of Democratic votes cast in the March primary election in their respective county.

Under the law, as the elected Democratic state central committeewoman and committeeman, Barb Brown and I will co-chair the selection committee and will recommend that they follow an open process to select the most qualified candidate. Committeewoman Brown and I will discuss the process with the 12 county chairs and make a public announcement soon.

As you know, I announced last October that I will not seek re-election, and I am not going to reconsider and will not be a candidate for re-election.”

* From Jason Plummer…

“My thoughts and prayers go out to Brad and his family as he deals with his medical condition. He had a distinguished career as an educator and leader in the area, and I wish him the best.

While I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know him on the campaign trail, this race was never about Brad or myself. This race is about and will be about Southern Illinoisians electing a congressman who will represent their values and fight the ballooning federal government.

My campaign will continue to provide residents of the 12th District a new direction to shrink the size of government, reduce regulations on small businesses and best utilize the natural resources of our state.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 12:35 pm:

    Either REALLY good for Jason … or REALLY bad for Jason … don’t see this as a wash no matter who the Dems put up.

  2. - train111 - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 12:35 pm:

    Looks like Il-12 is quickly becoming a Democratic dummymander — unless they can convince Jerry Costello to stick it out for 1 more term.


  3. - John A Logan - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 12:38 pm:

    Jerry Costello’s cell phone is ringing.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 12:40 pm:

    “Dear 12th Democrat Congressional selection committee,

    Need a Questionnaire?

    Your Pals,

    The 13th Republican Congression Selection Committee.”

  5. - Boone Logan Square - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 12:42 pm:

    Scott Lee Cohen is available.

  6. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 12:43 pm:

    @Logan -

    WHICH Jerry Costello?

  7. - John A Logan - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 12:46 pm:

    Senior or Junior. Who ever doesn’t already have vacation plans.

  8. - train111 - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 12:48 pm:


    That would certainly give MJM heartburn if Costello II drops his bid for the 116th Rep district and goes instead for the Congressional seat. That would be a district lost as far as he is concerned. Costello II stands a reasonably fair chance of keeping it in Democratic hands.


  9. - ILPundit - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 12:55 pm:

    Cong. Jerry Costello Sr. pretty much forced Harriman on the district by lining up all of Harriman’s support for him.

    Thank you Congressman. Thank you so much. We will all be watching to see if RP Lumber becomes one of your clients in retirement.

  10. - Shore - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:10 pm:

    Raja! He has a 26 page economic plan!

  11. - Just Sayin' - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:14 pm:

    If the Democratic county chairmen make the right selection this could be VERY bad news for Plummer and the Republicans. Things were looking awfully good for Plummer until this press release went out.

  12. - Esteban - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:19 pm:

    Is illness a cover story for Harriman to
    get out of the raceso her can be replaced
    with a stronger candidate?

  13. - nadia - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:24 pm:

    I’ve known Harriman all his life, for his health’s sake I’m glad he got out. Having said that the 12th lost a great guy as their future Representative.

  14. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:27 pm:


  15. - nadia - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:30 pm:

    Bradley would be tough to beat if St. Clair County can swallow their pride and appoint him.

  16. - Just Sayin' - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:33 pm:

    Bradley’s Southern Illinois act wouldn’t play in St. Clair County and especially not in East St. Louis.
    Holbrook doesn’t have the energy to make a run like this across such a large district. Plus, I think he voted for the last tax increase which the GOP would pummel him over.

  17. - Shore - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:34 pm:

    If you can’t beat Jason Plummer in a district of your own gerrymander chief, you need to really reconsider what you are as a party. Even a competitive race drains resources that shouldn’t have to be spent there.

  18. - Easy - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:34 pm:

    Jerry Jr. is the logical pick to run for congress. It just makes sense. It’s a much easier district to run in than his current house seat.

  19. - ILPundit - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:39 pm:



  20. - nadia - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:42 pm:

    Bradley’s ties with Labor would work well for him in St. Clair County and IMO East St. Louis would like him a lot better than Plummer. A lot of BS innuendo for Jerry II due to his Dad.

  21. - train111 - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:42 pm:

    Counting only major party votes

    Il-12 voted for Brady over Quinn 53-47
    Il-116 voted for Brady over Quinn 60.3-39.7


  22. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:44 pm:

    How about ChopperJerry? He is available…always got a long with most Ds. And probably wants to Whack afew Rs right now
    We agree it is a gifted idea, but we share for free.

  23. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:44 pm:

    John Bradley makes the most sense. He’s an honest public servant who has a clean record and knows budgetary issues. It also doesn’t help that he is close to Mike Madigan and knows Congressman Costello quite well. The way that district is drawn would allow a person from Marion to be competitive in St. Clair County, which is only and I-57 to I-64 trip away. The biggest areas in the new 12th are Marion-Carbondale-Murphysboro, Mt. Vernon and St. Clair County - all areas that are winnable for a strong D candidate and easily accessible for the candidate to attend events and campaign.

  24. - East Sider - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:45 pm:

    ==Bradley’s Southern Illinois act wouldn’t play in St. Clair County and especially not in East St. Louis.==

    So, you think the ESL voters would flip and vote GOP? Please let me know when you’re ready to join the rest of us in reality.

    I think the only way the Dems have a chance to hang on to the seat is if Jerry Sr. decides to get back in. I think Jerry Jr. would get pummeled (in addition to the Dems losing his seat in the IL House).

  25. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:45 pm:

    @Just Sayin -

    You forget that less than half of the district is actually in Madison & St. Clair Counties.

    And East St. Louis is going to vote 97% Democratic regardless of who is on the ballot.

    BTW, the way the new district is drawn, I don’t believe Costello controls enough of the weighted vote to pick the replacement.

    Thus, the meeting.

  26. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 1:48 pm:

    @IlPundit -

    I’m glad someone was paying attention.

    I don’t know Costello that well, but John Bradley would be a great pick. He’s a terrific campaigner, smart, and would do well in Congress.

    Plus, he’s hilarious, and would have absolutely no problem completely ridiculing Plummer.

  27. - ILPundit - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:05 pm:

    @YDD — Completely agree. From day one, they have needed a candidate who can play outside of Metro East to win. Problem is that Bradley didn’t want it before, why would he want it now? He starts wayyyy behind in fundraising, etc.

    Between this and Goetten blowing his primary, the downstate democratic “machine” is covered in egg.

  28. - nadia - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:06 pm:

    Bradley would be a good selection, but I mean to tell you for the St. Clair County bunch to give up the power or appear to give it up is hard for me to imagine.

    IMO there only 2 good options Jerry Sr. or Bradley. The meeting could also be an ask about the Speaker’s feelings on a Bradley appointment. Either way Plummer would be toast.

  29. - East Sider - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:07 pm:

    I don’t see how Bradley is the “perfect” candidate. He voted for the income tax hike. The GOP will beat the tar out of him from now until November for that.

  30. - Ray del Camino - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:08 pm:

    Glenn Poshard!

  31. - nadia - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:10 pm:

    Oops so much for Sr. being the person!

  32. - OneMan - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:15 pm:

    Here is a question I doubt anyone can answer, over the last 10 years or so have any state had more primary winners later drop out for congressional races?

  33. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:16 pm:

    So will the DCCC just give up on Downstate Illinois entirely aside from the Schilling race?

  34. - East Sider - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:20 pm:

    Any chance Madison County chief judge Ann Callis reconsiders and tries to get back in? She “reconsidered” last year, but it was apparently because St. Clair County was fully behind Harriman. Also, is Madison County without a Democratic party chair at the moment? Their chairman, Matt Melucci just died within the past 2 weeks.

  35. - Raising Kane - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:25 pm:

    Shelia Simon needs to reconsider.

  36. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:30 pm:


    Don’t you think anyone whose #1 issue for the future of this country is a tax vote that happened 18 month ago is ALREADY voting for Jason Plummer?

    Don’t you think that no matter who the Democrat is, Republicans are gonna say she/he is for bigger government, and Plummer will be tarred as wanting to “End Medicare as we know it”?

    Bradley would cream Plummer.

  37. - Deke Pollard - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:32 pm:

    No chance Hoffman would do it? He wanted it in the beginning, has tons of labor and lawyer support and is a tireless campaigner. He also has an experienced hand in Scott Kennedy to manage the nuts and dolts side. It’s a once in a lifetime shot.

  38. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:33 pm:

    === Sheila Simon needs to reconsider ===

    Right. Pro-choice, pro-gun control, Quinn’s Lt. Governor.

    That’s so much better than John Bradley.

  39. - East Sider - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:35 pm:

    @YDD: ask Senator Bill Haine how his polling numbers have looked since he voted for the tax increase. Downstate voters have not forgotten. The downstate Dems have always gotten free passes by pretending to be “conservative” Democrats, agreeing with conservative voters on guns, abortion, marriage and taxes. When they can’t check all of the boxes, they start running into big trouble.

  40. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:35 pm:

    === He [Hoffman] also has an experienced hand in Scott Kennedy to manage the nuts and dolts side. It’s a once in a lifetime shot. ===

    Yeah. Which he already took in 1996.

    I like Jay. A lot.

    He shouldn’t even consider running. STILL to close to Blagojevich.

  41. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:37 pm:

    Besides, Hoffman just had the 113th House District practically drawn for him.

  42. - East Sider - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:39 pm:

    Hoffman also voted for the tax increase and civil unions, in addition to being Blago’s floor leader. He knew he couldn’t even win his old house seat back, which is why he had to move to a safe Dem district.

  43. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:44 pm:

    @East Sider -

    I’m sure Haine’s poll numbers have been awful. I’m also pretty sure it had absolutely nothing to do with the tax increase vote.

    Madison County’s Democratic Party has taken a beating. Mostly deserved: when they aren’t acting like Republicans, its been pinstriped patronage.

    Besides, last time I checked, Madison County was hardly “conservative”. Don’t confuse the Metro-East with Southern Illinois. Its more like the south suburbs.

  44. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:50 pm:

    The more I am looking at this … this might not be good news for Jason. With no clear “leader in the clubhouse”, the Dems might be able to cobble some sort of coalition whose goal is to take on Jason Plummer.

    Another bite at the apple, the Dems now can look at this race a bit different and be on the offensive. Also, this puts the race in greater focus on the Dem side, to match the focus the Rebub Congressional Committee seems to be behind Plummer. We will know soon enough.

  45. - East Sider - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:54 pm:

    @YDD, I’m not confusing Madison County with the rest of Southern Illinois. If voters in Madison County are upset about the tax increase, how do you think the more conservative voters in the rest of Southern Illinois are taking it?

  46. - nadia - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 2:55 pm:

    Love Jay, but no way.

  47. - Bitterman - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 3:05 pm:

    D’s might as well pick out their favorite jelly, cause no matter who they pick, they are toast.

  48. - Just Sayin' - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 3:09 pm:

    How does Bradley have such close ties with labor? Wasn’t he leading the Speaker’s charge for workers comp “reform” last year which had the AFL-CIO and other labor groups so upset?
    Hoffman would be creamed for more reasons than you can count including that Costello doesn’t like him and this would have been the fourth race he’d “committed” to in the last year (not including the Blago stuff, past votes, etc.)

  49. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 3:14 pm:

    ===D’s might as well pick out their favorite jelly, cause no matter who they pick, they are toast.===

    Careful … it’s way too early to be talking toast, jam, or coffee …and remember “Coffee is for closers” …

  50. - nadia - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 3:17 pm:

    When speaking of “Labor” just ask the Southern Illinois Building Trades about Bradley.

  51. - iea - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 3:22 pm:

    Roger Eddy is available, isn’t he?

  52. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 3:34 pm:

    If Jerry Jr. or John Bradley run, the DCCC will get involved. If not, they will focus their money and efforts (or at least their efforts) on the new 13th and 17th CDs. I don’t think they will sink a lot of money into the 13th but it wouldn’t surprise me if the DCCC assigns a staffer there to keep Dr. Gill in line.

  53. - Raising Kane - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 3:44 pm:

    Whoever they get is likely to be a stronger candidate than Mr. Harriman. It was no secret that he was waging a lackluster campaign (to be generous). And the DCCC will have to get involved because they really need to hold that seat. This is their mulligan, they need to use it wisely.

  54. - Louie - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 3:46 pm:

    Ann Callis would be the best choice, but she will not give up her $175,000 judges position.

  55. - Deke Pollard - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 4:52 pm:

    @ Yellow Dog. Yeah, I am sure the Speaker was just dying to draw a district to bring Jay “home.” Plummer is a light weight and Jay is going to have to confront this garbage at some point if he hopes to move on. Cash will rule the day here and Hoffman can raise it. The Republican’s smugness will be their undoing in this one. But I may be crazy, too.

  56. - Freeman - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 5:37 pm:

    So this will be what, the 8th candidate Democrats have approached to run in the 12th?

    The list starts with Judge Callis if memory serves. Geez.

  57. - Duh - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 6:22 pm:

    It is a democrat district certainly and how well Obama runs in the district will be a factor. Surely the Dems can field a winner here if they can keep from shooting themselves in the foot. That being said the Metro East is not likely to let this seat out of their territory. Bradley is in a safe seat and he is not a risk taker. Forby is in a hot race and does not have the moxie to do this anyhow. Really outside the Metro East there are no viable candidates.

  58. - redrum - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 8:56 pm:

    Illinois Senator Gary Forby is the best for Democratic congressman. State Rep. Bradley would move up to the state Senate. Perfection. The mayor to representative. Obama lifts all boats.

  59. - Frankie S. - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 9:32 pm:

    Hoffman is the only choice. Jr. despite a lot here who believe otherwise, would not beat Plummer, IMO, and may well have a problem holding onto his state seat. Hoffman has his own problems with his relationship with Blago. I’ve had a lot of well placed Dems tell me Hoffman may not win his state seat (hard telling) but there are no Democratic rock stars standing in the wings to take Harriman’s place. If there were he’d have not been the candidate to start with. This is going to get interesting real quick ……. I guess there’s always Curtis McCall ……..

  60. - Duh - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 9:36 pm:

    What counties have the controlling vote for this process?

  61. - Southern Peggy R - Tuesday, May 29, 12 @ 10:25 pm:

    I’m in the 12th. People have had enough of the Costellos–outside the party faithful I suppose. Jason Plummer is a nose-holding vote. I really don’t get why the party went with Plummer over Cooke.

    I hope Harriman’s health problem may be healed by the surgery he indicated. He seemed like a nice man, but I would not have voted for him as a member of the public education apparatus.

  62. - Sentinel - Wednesday, May 30, 12 @ 1:20 am:

    Schilling you say is the dems only downstate hope for a gain? Fat chance. Wait until you see the news later today.

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