A three-member panel chosen Wednesday by the Will County Democratic Central Committee is seeking a candidate to serve out the remainder of State Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi’s term.
Wilhelmi, D-43, to take a job with the Illinois Hospital Association.
While it’s too late to remove Wilhelmi’s name from the March 20 primary ballot, the committee will determine who will replace Wilhelmi in the Illinois Senate.
Whoever is chosen could earn a spot on the November ballot, if he or she resides within the boundaries of the new district, which was reshaped by the results of the 2010 Census.
Under state law, Will County Democratic Party Chairman Dennis Grosskopf will serve on the committee to choose Wilhelmi’s replacement. On Wednesday, Will County Democrats elected Ruby Lofton, vice chair of the DuPage Township Democratic Organization, and Dan Maher, a Joliet precinct committeeman, to serve alongside Grosskopf.
The trio will have 30 days from the date of Wilhelmi’s resignation to appoint a replacement.
“I am not aware of when he’s resigning,” Grosskof said, adding the committee is now accepting letters of interest and resumes from interested Democrats.
Resumes should be sent to the Will County Democratic Central Committee, P.O. Box 4242, Joliet, IL 60436.
Who will run?
Choosing Wilhelmi’s replacement won’t necessarily determine who will appear on the Democratic ticket in the 43rd District race come November.
Since March primary ballots have already been printed, Grosskopf said it’s .
“He’ll have to send a letter saying he’s not accepting the nomination,” Grosskopf said.
Then, because new boundaries mean Wilhelmi’s district now extends into DuPage County, Grosskopf and DuPage County Democractic chair Robert Peickert will have the task of determining a candidate for the November general election.
The person tapped to fill in for Wilhelmi could wind up on the ballot, if he or she resides within the new district boundaries.
While this isn’t the first time a Will County Democrat has stepped down, it’s the first time it’s happened during primary season and immediately following a boundary shift.
“What makes it so unusual is the timing,” Grosskopf said.