Darin LaHood, the son of ex- Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and Michael Flynn, who helped found the late blogger and commentator Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com.
“Darin LaHood has exponentially more name I.D., exponentially more money and exponentially more relevant experience”, said Doug O’Brien, a Republican consultant in the state who counts Flynn as a friend.
Both Mellon and Lopez said issues affecting the middle class and jobs will help draw out Democratic voters in the heavily Republican district, particularly in union-heavy areas.
News reports chronicled Schock’s redecorating of his congressional office in the style of the TV show “Downton Abbey”, along with questions about his spending on concert tickets and trips for employees and mileage expenses.
Candidates running in the primary race are Mike Flynn, Darin LaHood and Donald Rients on the Republican side.
Candidates say the circumstances of Schock’s resignation in March have reverberated throughout the campaign.
The special general election is scheduled for September 10.
But because of how the district is drawn, many political analysts predict the seat will remain in Republican hands.
The younger LaHood, a ex- federal prosecutor and 4 1/2-year state lawmaker, is more conservative than his father.
Republican Donald Rients, who works for State Farm, is also running, along with two candidates in the Democratic race: Springfield school board member Adam Lopez and high school teacher Robert Mellon.
SHERMAN, Ill. (AP) – State Sen.
However, any Democrat will have a tough road in the sprawling GOP district that touches or includes 19 Illinois counties. Mellon tells The Associated Press he’s always considered himself an underdog and is ready for the challenge. The special primary – with just one race on the ballot in a nonpresidential election year – comes in peak summer vacation season.
Nancy Norville, a registered nurse, voted for Flynn at a Springfield polling place where there was steady voter traffic during the lunch hour.
County clerks estimated turnout Tuesday afternoon was as low as 2 percent in some regions and almost 10 percent in others. LaHood has won endorsements from GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner and six of the state’s seven Republican congressmen.
“I think a lot of his messages have more resonance inside the Beltway” than in the 18th District, he said.
But retired legislative researcher Sherwin Swartz of Springfield disagreed. “I wanted to see somebody in there that is going to do what they say, somebody that will do their best for the people of this district”.