The 67-year-old Dick Versace, a Democrat, said Thursday that he will bid for the 18th Congressional District seat in central Illinois. Incumbent Republican Ray LaHood announced in July he will retire when his term runs out in 2009.
Versace said he will tour the district in a 28-foot motor home called the “Common Sense Express” after he formally announces his intention to run for office at a news conference in the next couple of weeks.
“I’m going on a listening tour,” he said.
“I feel a real debt of gratitude to the Peoria area,” said Versace, who has homes in Peoria and Chicago. “I had the most wonderful eight years of my life there.”
Versace joins Chuck Giger, a retired Navy aviator who lives in Chatham, as a Democratic candidate. At least three Republicans have announced they will seek the GOP nomination for the seat.