Republicans Select Ozinga as Their Candidate to Replace Weller

Posted March 24, 2008 at 2:05pm

Chicago-area concrete contractor Martin Ozinga (R) is expected to be added next month to the November ballot to succeed Illinois GOP Rep. Jerry Weller, a Republican operative in the Land of Lincoln told Roll Call on Monday. For weeks, Republican county chairmen in Weller’s central Illinois district have worked their way through a list of 20 potential replacements for New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann, who abruptly dropped out of the race to replace Weller a month ago. As late as last week, Ozinga and local pizza chain owner Harry Bond were considered early favorites to replace Baldermann. On Monday afternoon, the eight county-level GOP leaders in the district announced that Baldermann’s replacement would be named officially on April 30. The meeting was called by 11th district State Central Committeewoman Barbara Peterson. — Matthew Murray