O'FALLON, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois Army National Guard veteran and former sports journalist says he's running for a southern Illinois congressional seat.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Republican Doug Bucshon is seeking the 12th Congressional District seat held by Bill Enyart, a Democrat who was elected to his first term last November.
A 20-year veteran of the state's National Guard, Bucshon has never held political office. Since retiring from active duty, he has covered University of Illinois basketball and football.
The 12th District stretches from the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis to the state's southernmost tip.
Enyart succeeded Democrat Jerry Costello, who retired after more than two decades in office.
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - The former chief circuit judge in Madison County, Illinois says she's running for Congress.
Forty-eight year old Democrat Ann Callis announced her candidacy Tuesday for the state's 13th Congressional District seat now held by Rodney Davis. Davis is a Taylorville Republican who was narrowly elected to the House last November.
Callis has been a judge since 1995 and resigned last Friday from her 7 year role as the county's chief circuit judge.
The congressional district stretches across parts of central and southwestern Illinois.
A Davis campaign spokesman says that in the partisan-divided district, "it's no surprise that the Washington Democrats have been attempting to recruit candidates from the moment Congressman Davis was elected last fall." Andrew Flach adds that Davis looks forward to debating the issues against any eventual opponent.
She won over Democratic front runners former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson and Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale, who both called her to concede.
Kelly emerged early on as an anti-guns voice and her campaign got a boost when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's super PAC poured $2 million in ads supporting her and blasting Halvorson, who doesn't favor an assault weapons ban.
Halvorson says big money won the race.
But Kelly says no one complains when the National Rifle Association pours money into races. She says she had a good team that worked hard on the ground.
Meanwhile, the race among Republicans to replace former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is too close to call.
Chicago resident Paul McKinley was leading fellow Republican Eric Wallace by about two dozen votes as of late Tuesday night. But with a handful of precincts outstanding, no winner was declared.
But regardless of the outcome, the winner will enter the April 9 general election with a huge disadvantage.
The 2nd Congressional District is heavily Democratic, and no Republican has won the Chicago-area seat in more than 50 years.
McKinley is a political newcomer. Wallace founded a Christian publishing company and ran an unsuccessful campaign for Illinois Senate in 2006.
Jackson resigned in November. He pleaded guilty earlier this month to spending about $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items.
In an open letter to lawmakers Sunday, 23 Latino leaders say all families deserve to be treated with respect.
Among those signing the letter are former Chicago City Clerk Miguel Del Valle and Sylvia Puente, executive director of the Latino Policy Forum.
The Illinois Senate approved a bill earlier this month that would end the state's ban on same-sex marriage. A House committee is expected to consider it Tuesday.
If it passes the House Gov. Pat Quinn has said he will sign the legislation, making Illinois the 10th state where same-sex couples may marry.
Opponents say the proposal endangers religious freedom and diminishes the sanctity of marriage.
Both have agreed to plead guilty in deals with federal prosecutors. Jackson is charged with conspiracy and his wife with one count of filing false joint federal income tax returns for the years 2006 through 2011 that knowingly understated the income the couple received.
She declined to give details, but she spent much of a news conference yesterday playing up her legal and financial experience.
Political experts say the move points toward exploring a run for attorney general or another statewide office and would allow for Simon to raise campaign funds separately from Gov. Pat Quinn, who's seen his approval rating dip.
It would also allow Simon to see who else is running.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan said yesterday that she hasn't decided yet on a 2014 gubernatorial run.
Simon told Quinn her decision in December. She said that in a few months she'll make another announcement about her future plans.
A new poll by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at SIU-Carbondale shows that Governor Pat Quinn has taken a hit. Quinn trailed badly among fellow Democrats, losing to state Attorney General Lisa Madigan by nearly ten points in a hypothetical party primary. The governor also trailed the "undecided" category by almost six points.
The poll also showed Illinois Republicans have no consensus on a gubernatorial candidate, with no one getting more than 10 percent support.