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Costello endorses Harriman to succeed him in Illinois' 12th District

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 16, 2012 - U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello has picked his candidate of choice in the race this fall to succeed him in Congress.

The Belleville Democrat endorsed Brad Harriman, a former St. Clair County regional superintendent and fellow Democrat, in the contest to choose Costello's successor in Illinois' 12th congressional district. Harriman's campaign announced the endorsement from Costello with a press release Sunday afternoon.

"Brad will go to work in Congress to stand up for what this district needs the most: good jobs, good schools and safe communities," said Costello, who has opted to retire. "I am proud to support him and can think of no one better in this race to fight for hard-working families and for a strong economic future for our nation."

Harriman added in a statement of his own that he is "truly honored" to have Costello's support.

Harriman is running in a Democratic primary for the seat that encompasses much of Metro East. The other Democrats are Iraq War veteran Chris Miller and Granite City resident Ken Wiezer.

Last week, Harriman received the backing of the Illinois AFL-CIO. Miller won an endorsementfrom the East St. Louis Alliance for Change.

While Costello typically won re-election in the 12th District by wide margins, national Republican groups see the seat as one they could pick up in 2012.

Republicans running for the seat include 2010 GOP lieutenant governor nominee Jason Plummer, former Belleville mayor Rodger Cook, 2010 Republican congressional nominee Teri Newman and O'Fallon resident Theresa Kormos.

Jason Rosenbaum, a freelance journalist in St. Louis, covers local and state politics and goverment. 

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.