Illinois GOP Reps. Judy Biggert and John Shimkus announced this week that they are supporting state Rep. Beth Coulson in the competitive GOP primary and race to succeed Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). Kirk is vacating his Democratic-leaning suburban Chicago seat to run for Senate in 2010.Biggert and Shimkus introduced Coulson to the rest of the Illinois delegation this week in Washington, D.C. “I grew up in Wilmette in the 10th district and served with Beth in the Illinois House before coming to Congress,— Biggert said in a statement. “Beth has been one of Illinois’ outstanding legislators. Her positions on issues and her experience as a leader make her the right person to represent the 10th district.—Coulson is one of several Republicans who are pursuing Kirk’s seat, including attorney Bill Cadigan, businessman Bob Dold and stock market analyst Dick Green. She is the only elected official in the GOP race and will likely be the most moderate Republican in the field as well. The GOP primary is expected to be competitive because of the large number of candidates, plus several of the GOP contenders have indicated they plan to put some of their own funds into the race. Democrats also have a primary on their hands in the district. State Rep. Julie Hamos, attorney Elliot Richardson and marketing consultant Dan Seals, who lost bids for the seat in 2006 and 2008, are seeking the Democratic nomination.