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Illinois: Democrats Set Up Application Process in 12th District

Illinois Democrats this weekend set up their process to select a new nominee in the open 12th district seat. Meanwhile, at least one more potential candidate emerged.

William Enyart, the adjutant general of the Illinois National Guard, is the newest name to express an interest in running for retiring Rep. Jerry Costello’s (D) seat.

Democrats were forced to fill a vacancy on the ballot after their nominee unexpectedly dropped out of the race for health reasons. Local county party leaders will pick a replacement candidate in the coming weeks to face businessman Jason Plummer, the GOP nominee.

Democrats were favored to keep the somewhat competitive seat in southern Illinois until recently. Now the seat could become a top GOP pickup opportunity unless Democrats find a top-flight nominee.

Costello and his selection committee co-chair, state Central Committeewoman Barb Brown, announced that potential candidates must fill out a questionnaire by June 15. The committee will “interview qualified candidates shortly after” that date.

Brown told Roll Call this morning that seven people had requested applications. She confirmed neither Enyart nor the two other most-often-mentioned potential candidates, state Rep. John Bradley and former state Rep. Tom Holbrook, had made the official request yet.

“I’m thinking about it,” Bradley said. “It’s not often that you have an opportunity to consider something like this.”

Another often-mentioned candidate, former state Rep. Jay Hoffman (D), announced he’s not interested on Friday.

Correction: 5:52 p.m.

An earlier version of this post gave incorrect first names for former state Reps. Tom Holbrook and Jay Hoffman.