Republicans Find Nominee In Weller Seat

Republicans appear to have found their candidate to run in the seat of retiring Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill.) after their previous nominee, New Lenox mayor Tim Baldermann, abruptly dropped out of the race last month.

Businessman Martin Ozinga, who owns a Chicago-area concrete company, announced he will be seeking the support of the district’s party leadership, and appears to all-but-assured of the nomination, according to a state GOP operative.

The 11th Congressional District State Central Committee will be officially naming a replacement candidate at a meeting on April 30.

“After much prayer and careful consideration – and at the urging of Republican leaders, 11th District voters and my family – I have decided to run for Congress to be a positive part of the process of returning to the foundational truths established by our forefathers,” Ozinga said in a statement.

The Democratic nominee, state Senate President Debbie Halvorson, has been one of the party's leading recruits and reported banking nearly $400,000 by mid-January.