Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

Illinois: Democrats Look for Brad Harriman Ballot Replacement

Southern Illinois Democrats started their search for a new nominee in the 12th district today after their elected candidate dropped off the ballot for health reasons this week.

Potential candidates include Madison County Circuit Court Chief Judge Ann Callis, former state Rep. Jay Hoffman and state Rep. John Bradley, according to Illinois Democrats.

Former St. Clair County Regional Superintendent of Schools Brad Harriman, who won the Democratic primary in March, left the race this week because a longtime “neurological condition” forced him to curtail campaigning. Now Democrats must find a new candidate to face GOP nominee Jason Plummer in the competitive race for retiring Rep. Jerry Costello’s (D) seat.

Democrats were favored to hold the seat with Harriman on the ballot, but his withdrawal leaves the district’s political fate uncertain. The district is also an expensive area to run a campaign because it includes the St. Louis media market. A new Democratic nominee will have to play catch-up with Plummer, a businessman who can fund his own campaign with personal wealth.

The 12th district Democratic Party county chairmen will pick a ballot successor in the coming weeks. Costello and Randolph County Democrat Barbara Brown will reportedly co-chair the selection committee.

Several local news sources mentioned the Congressman’s son, state Rep. Jerry Costello II. But he’s told local reporters he’s categorically not interested in running for Congress this cycle.

Roll Call currently rates the open-seat race as Leans Democratic, but we will be assessing that rating based on the selection of a new nominee.

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