Longtime judge Richard Grawey will announce on Monday his candidacy for the 18th Congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, a Republican from Peoria. Grawey, a Democrat, said it is time for change.
Judge Richard Grawey will announce his bid for the 18th Congressional seat on Monday — the first Democrat to join the race.
Grawey, 58, will immediately have to vacate his judicial post once the announcement is made. Earlier this week, he stepped down from his post as chief judge of the 10th Judicial Circuit, which includes Peoria, but remained a circuit judge to allow for a transitional period.
He sent out a news release Friday stating he will announce his plans in several cities on Monday including Peoria, Springfield and Quincy. He declined comment until Monday’s official announcements.
Grawey has previously said the seat, being vacated by U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, a Republican, in January 2009 will be "winnable" for a Democrat and that it’s time for a change.
LaHood, however, has pointed out the seat has been held by Republicans since 1917 and that it will not easily tender to a Democrat.
"For people who know me well, it’s probably not that much of a surprise," Grawey said recently, adding that he worked on Capitol Hill from 1975 to 1982 as counsel for a congressional subcommittee before moving back to Peoria. "I’ve had, pretty much since my adult life, an interest in how as a society we make decisions."
Grawey entered private practice in 1982 and came to the bench in 1990, filling a spot vacated by Judge Richard Eagleton.
During his years on the bench, he presided over felony, civil, divorce and probate courts. Grawey currently is in Peoria’s probate and equity court.
Other Democrats mulling a run for LaHood’s seat include former state Rep. Bill Edley, now a Department of Corrections official, and Dick Versace, former Bradley University and NBA basketball coach.
On the GOP side, state Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Peoria, and John Morris already have announced they are running. Peoria businessman Jim McConoughey will announce next week.
The 10th Judicial Circuit includes Peoria, Tazewell, Marshall, Putnam and Stark counties.
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