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Illinois Democrat Hesitant on House Race

Bost is a freshman Republican from Illinois. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Bost is a freshman Republican from Illinois. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, a potential Democratic recruit in a top pick-up opportunity for House Democrats in Illinois this cycle, demurred on the possibility of a bid next year.  

Land of Lincoln Democrats are reportedly asking Simon  to consider challenging freshman Rep. Mike Bost, the Republican swept into the 12th District in November. But fresh off a defeat for state comptroller last cycle, Simon said she is not yet ready to jump into a congressional race.  

“I’ve had many folks ask me,” Simon told The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report Friday about a potential congressional run. “I’m not actively pursuing it.”  

Seeking to make a dent in the House GOP’s historic majority, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has focused on recruiting top candidates in Illinois in 2016. DCCC recruitment officials made their first trip of the cycle  to Illinois to seek challengers for Bost and Rep. Rodney Davis, a Republican from the neighboring 13th District.  

Bost defeated one-term Rep. Bill Enyart, a Democrat, by 11 points last cycle. But President Barack Obama carried the 12th District by 11 and 2 points in 2008 and 2012, respectively, making it a top pickup opportunity in a presidential cycle.  

“An election is the closest thing to childbirth,” said Simon, who has two adult daughters. “I’ve gone through it recently and it’s not something to jump back into right away.”  

Other potential Democratic challengers include state Rep. Jerry Costello II — the son of former Rep. Jerry Costello — St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly and state Rep. Jay Hoffman.

Read a full postmortem on Bost’s defeat of Enyart in the Dec. 19 edition of The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report ($).

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