Dems to pick nominee in southern Ill. House race

CHESTER, Ill. (AP) - Republican Jason Plummer soon will know who he'll be facing in the race for a southern Illinois congressional seat.

A selection panel on Saturday was to interview as many as 10 Democratic hopefuls for the ballot spot abandoned last month when nominee Brad Harriman abandoned the 12th Congressional District race last month for medical reasons.

The panel includes Democratic heads of the district's 12 counties. After the public interviews, panel members will decide who Harriman's replacement will be.

Only two men, both Democrats, have represented the 12th District since World War II. The seat's current holder, Rep. Jerry Costello, is not seeking re-election.

The district stretches from the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis to the state's southernmost tip and encompasses a large swath of chronically economically stressed territory.

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