Retired Army National Guard Maj. Gen. William Enyart has jumped into the race for retiring Rep. Jerry Costello's (D-Ill.) seat, giving Democrats a much-needed boost in their search for a candidate for this competitive race.
"Today I am proud to rise to the challenge before us and heed the call to serve by fighting for good jobs and a responsible way to reduce the deficit to build a strong middle class and protect the Southern Illinois way of life," Enyart said in a statement released Tuesday evening.
Metro East Democrats were left searching for a new nominee last month after their candidate, Brad Harriman, dropped out of the race citing health reasons. The 12th district is competitive, and the new Democratic nominee will face businessman Jason Plummer, a Republican with deep pockets who ran statewide in 2010.
Local Democratic officials had set up a vetting process to pick a new candidate by the end of June. Enyart is the first well-known Democrat to apply for the spot by submitting his required questionnaire to Costello and local party officials.
"I look forward to an open and transparent process as I seek the Democratic nomination," he said in his statement.
Aspiring candidates must submit their applications by Friday. After that, 12th district county Democratic Party chairmen will interview and select a nominee.