Springfield, Ill. — A spirited race is shaping up in the Democratic primary race in the 12thCongressional District of Metro East and Southern Illinois for the right to succeed veteran Democrat Jerry Costello as the Democratic candidate in November’s election.
[frame src="https://labortribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/brad.jpeg" width="150" height="250" align="left" style="2" linkstyle="none" title="BRAD HARRIMAN"]Brad Harriman of O’Fallon, a public school teacher and former regional Superintendent of Schools for St. Clair County, is off to a good start in Metro East, where he has endorsements of Madison County and St. Clair County Democratic Councils, plus several unions.
He is running with Costello’s support.
Farther south in Carbondale, Chris Miller, a decorated veteran of the war in Iraq and a former intern for U.S. Senator Dick Durban and state comptroller Dan Hynes, is running with the unofficial support of several downstate newspapers.
A third candidate is Kenneth Wiezer, a retired businessman from Granite City, who has run for the office several times before. He says he is more familiar with the entire district than the other two candidates and promises to out campaign them for the nomination.
The primary election is March 20. The deadline for filing was Dec. 27.
The district is the only open district in Southern Illinois.
Four candidates have filed in the Republican primary. The winner will be the first GOP candidate in more than 50 years to make a serious challenge to the Democratic nominee.
The district is being targeted by the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee as a winnable district. That means the GOP nominee can be expected to enjoy millions of dollars in support from corporate interests who want to reinforce their control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
While Costello won handily in 2008 and withstood the Republican landslide in 2010, President Obama did not carry the district in 2008, despite winning Illinois.
Costello, a 22-year veteran of the district, surprised Democrats and Republicans when announced last spring that he would not seek re-election.
Several more prominent Democrats toyed with the possibility of running for the district, but decided against it.