BELLEVILLE, IL (KPLR)-- In what political experts consider a 'toss up' race for U.S. Congress, Bill Enyart, an attorney and the former top military official for the State of Illinois, is hoping to hold onto a congressional seat the Democratic Party has held since World War II.
Enyart is facing, O`Fallon, IL, businessman, Republican, Jason Plummer. Plummer was the Republican nominee for Illinois Lt. Governor in 2010. He is currently the Vice President of Corporate Development for R.P. Lumber, a business his father founded. Plummer is also an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Naval Reserves.
Both men are seeking to succeed 11 term Congressman (D) Jerry Costello in Illinois 12th Congressional District.
Costello succeeded Democrat Melvin Price when Price died in 1988. Price represented the Belleville/East St. Louis area in Congress since 1945 (the district had been redistricted from the 22nd, 25th, 24th, 23rd, and 21st during his tenure).
Enyart most recently served as the Adjutant General of Illinois. With the rank of Major General, Enyart was the head of the Illinois National Guard, overseeing 13,500 troops and 300 civilian employees.
Enyart handled the deployment of troops into combat zones as well mobilizing them for disaster response.
He came to the district in 1969 as an airman at Scott AFB. He later started his own law practice in Belleville.
Enyart, who worked at a Caterpillar plant growing up in Central Illinois, is running on a platform of creating manufacturing jobs, reforming the tax code, and investments in 'clean' energy technologies like 'clean' coal, natural gas, wind, and biomass.
He`s also touting a plan to modernize schools and our transportation infrastructure.
Enyart is married. His wife, Annette, is a retired circuit judge. They have two sons.