Joe Walsh Primary Rival Ends Bid, Clears Path for Freshman

Posted December 21, 2011 at 2:55pm

DuPage Superintendent of Schools Darlene Ruscitti (R) dropped out of Illinois’ 8th district race today, making way for Rep. Joe Walsh (R) to seek re-election in the northwest Chicago suburbs.

“Today, after careful consideration with family, supporters and friends, I have decided not to run for Congress in the 8th Congressional District,” she said in a statement.

Ruscitti’s announcement comes a few weeks after Walsh declared his intentions to switch races to run in the 8th district. Walsh originally planned to run against one of his freshman GOP colleagues, Rep. Randy Hultgren (R), in the 14th district.

Illinois Democrats overhauled the state’s Congressional map earlier this year, drastically redrawing several House seats held by Republicans. The redrawn 8th is a Likely Democratic seat, and Walsh faces an uphill slog to win re-election there.

The state’s filing deadline is Tuesday.