From WILL - News Headlines -

Illinois GOP Sets Timetable to Name 13th District Candidate

Illinois Republicans have come up with a timetable for selecting their candidate in the state's 13th Congressional District.

14 county GOP chairs are now slated to conduct a weighted vote on Saturday, May 19th.

Illinois Republican Party Chair Pat Brady says prior to that, candidates will submit applications that were posted on the party's web site Wednesday afternoon.

The person selected would replace retiring Urbana Republican Tim Johnson on the November ballot.

Brady says he doesn't have a voice in this decision, leaving it solely to county chairs and their constituents, who have a two-week gap between the first presentation and final vote. Brady says he feels good about the selection process.

"I'm confident we will have a strong candidate," Brady said. "I'm confident when Democrats put up a very left of center guy who's way out of the touch with the district, and lost 3 times already."

Brady is referring to Bloomington Physician David Gill, who lost three times to Congressman Johnson for the 15th district race. Last week, Gill was officially declared the Democratic nominee when Matt Goetten conceded the race, losing by just over 150 votes.

Brady says as many as 8 or 9 names are being considered for the Republican nomination.

Meanwhile, Brady denies the state GOP is under any pressure from one of those names, former Johnson aide Jerry Clarke.

A report Wednesday in the Champaign News-Gazette indicated Clarke had registered a campaign domain name nearly two months before Johnson announced his retirement. But Brady says anyone interested in the Congressional seat is getting a fair shake.

"In response to allegations like this, whether it's true or not, that's why we set this process up," Brady said. "An open, fair, and transparent process, so everyone has input. So it doesn't appear that there was some kind of deal cut prior, and that everybody as a Republican, or every interested conservative or otherwise gets a chance to voice an opinion on who's going to be their candidate."

Brady says he first heard of Johnson's retirement about 12 hours before it was announced on April 5th. Clarke started campaigning a few days later.

Other possible candidates include State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington and former Illinois House Member Mike Tate of Decatur.

Categories: Government, Politics