Illinois: Ozinga Says He’s Raised $400K for House Race

Posted April 30, 2008 at 6:38pm

Local GOP bosses picked Chicago concrete magnate Martin Ozinga (R) Wednesday morning as the November ballot replacement in Rep. Jerry Weller’s (R) central Illinois district.

“We are excited to have Marty on the ticket,” Illinois Republican Party Chairman Andy McKenna said in a statement. “Marty Ozinga is a proven job creator, business leader and possesses a strong dedication to his community both at home and abroad.”

For months, the Republican chairmen for the eight counties represented by the 11th district have searched for a credible replacement to New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann.

Baldermann won a tough Super Tuesday primary to replace Weller, but he quickly dropped out of the contest, leaving GOP officials to choose his replacement.

Regional pizza chain owner Harry Bond also was a shortlisted candidate for the Republican ballot spot.

Ozinga announced Tuesday that his campaign has raised more than $400,000 for the race in less than a month — a revelation that should hearten GOP leaders. He will now face state Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson (D) in the fall.

Halvorson had $673,000 in the bank on April 1.

— Matthew Murray