Brad Harriman, who won the Democratic primary in IL-12 on March 20, has ended his camapign due to a neurological medical condition that requires surgery. Democratic county chairpersons in the 12 counties that compromise IL-12, which includes a wide swath of Southwestern Illinois, taking in part of Madison County and all of Saint Clair, Monroe, Randolph, Perry, Jefferson, Franklin, Williamson, Jackson, Union, Alexander, and Pulaski Counties, will be responsible for selecting a replacement nominee. IL-12 has a slight Democratic lean to it, but many Democrats in the district are moderate or even conservative.
This isn't the first time this year that a major party candidate for a U.S. House race withdrew his nomination after the March 20 primaries. Tim Johnson, who won the Republican primary in IL-13, withdrew his nomination for reasons not fully explained, and Republican county chairpersons in the 14 counties that compromise IL-13 selected Rodney Davis to replace Tim Johnson as the Republican nominee in IL-13, where Davis and Gill will face off in one of the most competitive U.S. House races in the country in November. The last time I can recall a major party candidate withdrawing his nomination for health-related reasons was when Lane Evans, who is revered by many on here because he founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus, withdrew the IL-17 Democratic nomination in 2006 because his Parkinson's Disease worsened to the point that it compromised his ability to campaign. Democratic operatives selected Phil Hare as the replacement nominee, who defeated Republican nominee Andrea Zinga in the general election that year.
In regards to the state of the race in IL-12, this is a massive setback to hopes of keeping this seat in the Democratic column. Republicans have a top-tier candidate in the form of Jason Plummer, who was narrowly defeated by Sheila Simon in the race for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in 2010. Speaking of Sheila Simon, she is one of numerous possible replacement nominees in IL-12, other potential candidates include, but are not limited to, Chris Miller, Kenneth Wiezer, John Baricevic, John E. Bradley, Ann Callis, James Clayborne, Jr., Jerry Costello, Jerry Costello II, Glenn Poshard, Bill Haine, Tom Holbrooke, Jay Hoffman, Brendan Kelly, and Mark Kern. Jerry Costello is the district's incumbent U.S. Representative, he announced his retirement a few months after the Illinois General Assembly completed redistricting, Miller and Wiezer were Harriman's primary opponents, Baricevic and Callis are both judges, Bradley, Costello II, Hoffman, and Holbrook either are or were state representatives, of these, Costello II is the son of the district's incumbent, Haine and Clayborne, Jr. are state senators, of these, Clayborne, Jr. is the majority leader in the state senate, Kelly is a state's attorney, Kern is a county board chairman, and Poshard is a former U.S. Representative.
I'm not a resident of IL-12, but I would like to see transparency in the selection process for a replacement Democratic nominee in IL-12. Despite this massive setback, IL-12 Democrats will fight on with a new name on the ballot on November 6!