* 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.
“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.”