Illinois Democrats Not Eager to Play Washington Politics

Friday, 07 Oct 2011 02:08 PM

By Greg McDonald

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Illinois Democrats aren’t exactly rushing to fill the congressional seat of retiring Rep. Jerry Costello, and many of them say it’s because Washington lawmakers are doing more useless political bickering these days than governing.

“That’s a long way to go just to play partisan politics,” state Sen. James Clayborne told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Thursday.

State Sen. Bill Haine agreed. “Absolutely not,” he told the Post-Dispatch when asked if he was considering a run to replace Costello, who surprised everyone by announcing this week that he will not seek re-election next year. “At this point in my life, I don’t see going to Washington as anything other than a tourist,” Haine said according to the paper.

The two state lawmakers were among several mentioned by the paper as possible candidates. But even other state politicians with higher profiles signaled that they would not be running. The few who did express an interest told the newspaper that they would need more time, as one put it, “to consider the lay of the land” both at home and in Washington.

Costello has held his seat for 23 years even during Republican landslide elections. But now Republicans believe the seat is no longer “safe” for Democrats with Costello out of the way, the paper reported.

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