Rep. Johnson to Retire Right After Winning Nomination for 7th Term

-By Warner Todd Huston

Illinois 15th District Congressman Timothy Johnson has announced he will not run for re-election (to the redistricted 13th District) even after just winning a primary against two GOP challengers only weeks ago.

This is a pretty annoying move on Johnson’s part. If he was going to retire, why the heck did he run for re-nomination for the general election? Why did he force the two candidates that faced him to spend their money to run against him? Worse, why did he sandbag the state party like that and give them so much less time to make plans for the general?

I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised, though, as Johnson has a well-deserved reputation for going his own way without taking much mind to the party of his fellows. He rarely signed onto state initiatives nor did he ever much bother to stand with his fellow Illinois caucus members with any of their actions and efforts.

Johnson endorsed Ron Paul for President, too, a move not expected to endear him with the GOP establishment.

Word from inside Johnson’s camp is that he figured the district was strong enough GOP-leaning that whoever is picked to run against the Democrat in November it will keep the seat in GOP hands. Insiders also say that Johnson has been mulling this move for several weeks, but it is unknown if he was talking about this before the primary.

The Democrat Party, though, feels that the 13th District might be a possible pick up for them what with the redistricting that cobbled in some more Democrat-leaning areas into the district.

The Republicans are now in a scramble to figure out who will face Democrat David Gill and Democrat money will now really flood the district since GOP incumbent Johnson is abandoning the race.

On WLS radio this morning Congressman Adam Kinzinger announced his disappointment in how Johnson handled his announcement.

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