The soap opera as a result of Congressman Tim Johnson's announcement he will not seek re-election, is getting even more dramatic.
On Thursday, Johnson issued a statement saying that no member of his family or staff should run for his seat, which must now be filled by the Republican Party chairmen of the various counties in the new 13th Congressional District.
One of the announced candidates is Jerry Clarke, Johnson' former chief-of-staff.
Other announced candidates include Rodney Davis of Taylorville, an aide to Congressman John Shimkus; former state representative Mike Tate of Springfield; former Miss America Erika Harold of Chicago; former state agriculture director Becky Doyle of Gillespie; and Springfield truck driver Sam Spradlin.
In Johnson's statement Thursday, he indicated that the process should be as open as possible, and that Clarke should not be a candidate that the party chairmen consider.
Champaign County GOP Chairman Habeeb Habeeb appears to have the most clout in the nomination process, as that county has the most Republican voters in the last election. Percentage of Republican voters in each county, determines how many votes each county party chairman has in the process to nominate a candidate to go up against Democratic candidate Doctor David Gill of Bloomington.
It's not been announced when the 13th Congressional District Republican County Chairmen will meet to formally vote to select a candidate.