ILLINOIS: Moseley-Braun to Reveal Political Plans
After months of speculation about her pending re-entry into politics, former Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun (D-Ill.) is set to announce her plans on Friday at a Chicago news conference.
Moseley-Braun has been mentioned as a potential Senate candidate next year, and word has circulated in Democratic circles recently that she is preparing to run for her old seat.
However, according to a published report Wednesday, she may have loftier aspirations. The former Senator was quoted by the Chicago Sun-Times as saying that she has been encouraged to run for president.
“Have people been talking to me about running for president? … Yes,” Moseley-Braun told the newspaper. “But that is all I’ll say. You’ll have to wait until Friday when I will make an announcement regarding my future.”
If she does decide to run for Senate, Moseley-Braun will enter an already crowded Democratic primary field of five candidates, either announced or expected to announce.
Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R-Ill.) ousted Moseley-Braun in 1998 and is now considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents up for re-election.
— Lauren W. Whittington
Another Candidate to Seek Gephardt’s Seat
St. Louis Circuit Court Clerk Mariano Favazza (D) announced his candidacy for the 3rd district House seat this week, becoming the third Democratic candidate seeking to replace Rep. Richard Gephardt (D).
Favazza, an attorney and former grocer, said he was forced into an early decision by the candidacies of state Sen. Steve Stoll (D) and state Rep. Rick Johnson (D).
First elected to the countywide post in 1998, Favazza was unopposed in his re-election bid in 2002.
Stoll entered the race first and carries the imprimatur of Gephardt’s Missouri political machine. He has served in both the state House and Senate.
Johnson is a political upstart, having been elected to the state House in 2000, his first foray into elected office.
Gephardt has held this suburban St. Louis seat since 1976. He is retiring to make his second bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Republicans continue to discuss the possibility of contesting the district, where George W. Bush would have won 43 percent in the 2000 election.
Among the GOP names mentioned are state Reps. Catherine Enz and Zane Yates, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
— Chris Cillizza
Inglis No Sure Thing in Battle for His Old Seat
Former Rep. Bob Inglis’ (R) decision to seek his old 4th district seat has done little to dissuade other Republicans from exploring the race.
Aside from Inglis, Greenville County school district board member William Herlong, Greenville County Councilor Scott Case, attorney Walt Wilkins and state Rep. Harry Cato all are considering a run for the Republican nomination, according to the Greenville News.
The seat will come open in 2004 when Rep. Jim DeMint, abiding by his term-limits pledge, leaves the House. He is expected to run for the seat held by Sen. Fritz Hollings (D) and is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.
The Up Country district is heavily weighted toward Republicans, as George W. Bush would have won 64 percent of the vote there in the 2000 presidential race.
Inglis held the seat from 1992 to 1998, leaving to mount an unsuccessful challenge to Hollings.
Democrats have some reason for hope, however, as Rep. Liz Patterson (D), daughter of a former Palmetto State governor and Senator, represented the district from 1986 to 1992.
Hill Likes Hill, Won’t Run for Governor in ’04
Rep. Baron Hill (D) this week became the latest Democrat to say no to a gubernatorial run in 2004.
Hill is the fifth Democrat to pass on running for governor next year since Lt. Gov. Joe Kernan (D) announced that he would forgo seeking the office. Current Gov. Frank O’Bannon (D) is barred from running again.
“Though my competitive instincts were definitely moving me towards running, my wife Betty, our three daughters, and I have decided this is not the right time,” Hill said in a statement. “My decision was made difficult by my love of a good challenge, my commitment to the State of Indiana, and my strong belief that I had a clear shot to win and serve well.”
Hill also cited his new role as a Chief Deputy Whip in the 108th Congress as reason for forgoing a statewide run.
State Sen. Vi Simpson is the only Democrat who has officially announced a bid. Former Indiana and national Democratic Party Chairman Joe Andrew and former Secretary of State Joe Hogsett are still considering running.
On the Republican side, former Rep. David McIntosh (R) is running, and Office of Management Budget Director Mitch Daniels and former Sen. Dan Coats are also mentioned as potential GOP candidates.