Illinois: Ozinga Formally Enters Race for Weller’s Seat

Posted April 16, 2008 at 6:21pm

Martin Ozinga (R), who controls a Chicago-area concrete empire, filed as an 11th district House candidate with the Federal Election Commission earlier this week.

Local GOP committeemen are expected to name Ozinga on April 30 as the ballot replacement to New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann, who won the Feb. 5 Republican primary but dropped out of the race several days later.

Should Ozinga be named as Baldermann’s replacement, he will face state Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson (D) in the race to replace retiring Rep. Jerry Weller (R).

Halvorson, a top recruit of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, had $673,000 in her campaign account as of March 31. Ozinga has not yet filed a fundraising report.

Highly Touted Recruit Has Only $5K in Bank

Local businessman and former professional hockey player Steve Greenberg, a top National Republican Congressional Committee recruit, had just $5,000 in his campaign coffers as of April 1, recent Federal Election Commission filings show.

Greenberg, who skated through the Land of Lincoln’s Super Tuesday GOP primary, will square off with Rep. Melissa Bean (D) next fall. The two-term incumbent disclosed $1.35 million in cash earlier this week.

“I appreciate the broad support and recognition of my work in Congress for the 8th district families, businesses, and communities I represent,” Bean said in a statement.

Republicans had hoped to make the Republican-leaning suburban Chicago district a major target, but Bean remains surprisingly resilient.

Greenberg earlier this week told the Chicago Tribune that he took last month off.

“March, for me personally, was a refocusing time,” Greenberg told the newspaper. “I still have a business and things I have to do. But now I’m going to focus on this campaign the rest of the way.”

— Matthew Murray