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Illinois Dems narrow field of Lieutenant Governor applicants

By Whitney Jones, Illinois Public Radio

Springfield, Ill. – Out of more than 240 applicants seeking the Illinois Democratic Party's nomination for Lieutenant Governor, the State Central Committee has narrowed that list to 17. Most who made the cut have at least some history in politics.

Dozens of people appeared before Democratic leaders in meetings across the state in what was akin to a political version of American Idol.

In Springfield, those in attendance who move on to the final round include former U.S. Senator Paul Simon's daughter Sheila Simon, Pekin State Senator David Koehler and Moline Representative Mike Boland, who lost in the February primary.

Rep. Jay Hoffman of Collinsville chaired the Springfield meeting. He said name recognition was a quality the committee is looking for.

"The ones that were chosen I believe have the experience and the potential to be Lieutenant Governor and our party's nominee, and were head and shoulders above some of the others," Hoffman said.

Candidates were asked to fill out a lengthy form which included probing questions about their past.

The primary winner, Scott Lee Cohen, was forced to leave the ticket after allegations of abuse surfaced.

Among the others making the list... Lake County Senator Susan Garrett...who is rumored Democrats will make their final decision on Saturday.