Springfield, ILÂ â€“ Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady said winning the Congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Jerry Costello (D-12) will be one of the partyâ€™s top priorities in 2012.
â€œThe district has been trending Republican for several years,â€ said Brady. â€œWith (Republican) Bobby Schilling defeating (Democrat) Phil Hare last year, the Illinois Republican Party has been making huge gains in downstate Illinois and, with Pat Quinn, Mike Madigan, John Cullerton and Barack Obama leading the Democratic Party, we will continue to do so.â€
Schilling defeated Hare in the 17th Congressional District last year, a district that had not been won by a Republican since 1980. Additionally, Republicans won a state senate seat in downstate Illinois that had not been held by the GOP since 1975.
In 2010, Costello’s district was won by Republican Senate Candidate Mark Kirk and Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Brady and in 2004 by President George W. Bush. In 2008, Obama received a lower percentage of the vote in the district than Kirk or Brady did in 2010.
Noting that he was ready to move on, Congressman Jerry Costello (D-12) announced yesterday (10/4/2011) that he would not seek re-election to the seat next year. Costello has held the seat since 1988 and is currently the senior Democrat on the Houseâ€™s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.