Illinois Democrats officially picked retired Major General Bill Enyart (D) to be their nominee in a southern Illinois swing seat this weekend and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee quickly moved him onto their "Red to Blue" program to help top candidates.
Enyart, a longtime southern Illinois resident with military credentials, may help end what has been a cycle-long headache for Democrats. Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) announced his retirement earlier this year, and while Brad Harriman, the party's preferred candidate, won his primary he had to drop out last month because of a worsening neurological condition.
After Harriman dropped out local Democrats including Costello led a search for an adequate replacement candidate in the slightly Democratic-leaning district, which stretches from suburban St. Louis to Carbondale. The blue-collar district is slightly favorable to Democrats, especially in a presidential year, but Enyart will have to play catch-up on fundraising.
The Hill rates the race a "tossup."