All’s Weller That Ends Weller

Posted September 21, 2007 at 6:27pm

Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill.) made it official Friday: He will not seek an eighth term next year. [IMGCAP(1)]

“I need to give my family the time needed to be a full-time father and husband,” Weller said during a lunch-hour speech at the Joliet Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Weller had been the subject of unflattering media reports in recent weeks about his land investments in Central America. But during his speech, the Congressman — who is married to a member of the Guatemalan Congress — focused only on his quarter-century career of public service and his enthusiasm for his remaining 14 months on the job.

“Let me thank you for your votes of confidence over the years,” Weller said.

Weller’s district, which runs south and west from the Chicago exurbs, leans Republican in presidential elections but is likely to be a major battleground next year. Potential Democratic candidates include state Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson and community college president Jerry Weber.

On the Republican side, Joliet lawyer Dick Cavanagh, New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann, bank president Jim Roolf, former Frankfort Mayor Ray Rossi and state Sen. Gary Dahl were being mentioned as possible contenders late last week.

— Josh Kurtz