Longtime Illinois Rep. to step down in 2012
October 4th, 2011
01:40 PM ET
11 years ago

Longtime Illinois Rep. to step down in 2012

(CNN) - Democratic Rep. Jerry Costello will not run for reelection to Congress in 2012, he announced Tuesday.

The twelve-term Illinois congressman, who serves as dean of the Illinois delegation, said he is leaving the House to pursue "other interests and opportunities that may come along."

"It has been a privilege and an honor to serve in the U.S. Congress for the past 23 years," Costello said in a statement. "However, I said when I was elected in 1988 and many times since that I did not intend to stay in Congress forever as I had other interests that I wanted to pursue."

Costello is the fifth House member, all of whom are Democrats, to announce his retirement this cycle, according to Roll Call. Another 14 members are running for another office.

The typically blue district in the Southern part of the state supported President Barack Obama with 56% of the vote in 2008 and then-Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry with 52% of the vote in 2004.

But Andrea Bozek, spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Costello's retirement was a reaction to his vulnerability.

"Jerry Costello saw the writing on the wall and knew that he couldn't defend his decades of job-destroying policies that have made our economy worse," Bozek said in a statement. "After years of listening to Jerry Costello pay lip service to fiscal responsibility, Illinois working families will finally have the chance to elect a candidate that truly represents their values."

Democratic Rep. Steve Israel, who serves as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, thanked Costello for his service and predicted Democrats would maintain control of the district.

"This is a strong Democratic district that both President Obama and Senator Kerry won and we look forward to electing a Democrat next November who will represent middle class families and fight to create local jobs and grow the economy," Israel said in a statement.

Filed under: Congress • Illinois
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    What decades of job-destroying policies is she referring to? What, this is not Ohio, and Boehner hasn't quit? Oh crap. Well, in a year, he'll be gone too: the nice thing is, he will have been fired.

    October 4, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. Kathy

    "other interests and opportunities that may come along"........(translated) Obama is destroying this country and since Obama is a Democrat, like myself, I don't have a chance in hell of being elected in 2012.

    October 4, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Kathy, Your party gave us the great depression of 1929, and the near great depression of 2008. The one person who is in the way of republicans completely destroying our country is President Obama. You know it, I know it, and the American people know it.

    October 4, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. Tim

    Any news on Holder lying under oath? Not here.

    October 4, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    What's the latest on the weapons of mass destruction? When does tickle down economics kick in? Any truth that unfunded unnecessary wars to not add to our national debt? Tax cuts to the wealthy pay for themselves. Mission Accomplished. Admit it, almost all republican talking points are lies.

    October 4, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    rob asked:
    To Rudy NYC,

    To follow your logic- Jan 2007 the democrats took controll of the House and Senate with unemployment abot 5%, deficits about 200 billion, and record tax revenue flowing in to the Govt. It all went down hill from there leading to the financial meltdown in the summer and fall of 2008.

    But that was all Bush's fault...Right?
    Right. But, I cannot lay all of at blame at Bush's feet. A lot of credit goes to the greedy-ologically driven Republican Congress that preceded the Democrats for 6 years. It was during that 6 year period from 2001 to 2007 that Republicans cut taxes, regulations, and created tax loop holes to their heart's content. That same time frame witnessed total US manufacturing jobs drop from over 19 million to under 11 million.

    I guess those record tax revenues you are referring to must be the all time lows as a percentage of GDP since The Great Depression.

    October 4, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. Jeff

    "Other interests and opportunities that may come along" = "sweet lobbying gig."

    October 4, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. Ancient Texan

    He probably muttered something about a sinking ship as he made the announcment........

    October 4, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. WiredweirdinSF

    The recession actually started when Pelosi and the libertards took over the House, not that the truth ever got in the way of a good democrat liberal lie. I am not weathy by any means but unlike the dope smokers that vote for the corrupt, inept, incompetent, union toady class wafare causing current idiot, I did assume some personal responsibility for my life and contributed regularly for a 401(k), now guess what? I am going to have to contribute taxes from that savings to make sure the dope smokers who love the kenyan village idiot can continue their fraud, and to keep the union thug that have threatened to take me out in the plush little union jobs.

    October 4, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. tate

    Why does raising taxes on fatty food slow the use but raising taxes on business owners not? Ever asked you that one you menthol smoking porch sitters.

    October 4, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |