SPRINGFIELD - Two political newcomers are vying for the chance to challenge Democrat U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello in November.
Theresa Kormos, a nurse from O'Fallon, and Teri Newman, a wedding planner from Highland, will face off in the Feb. 2 Republican primary race for the 12th Congressional District.
Kormos, a Pennsylvannia native who came to Southern Illinois when her husband was assigned to Scott Air Force Base, was inspired to run in January 2009 - when Democrats took control of Washington. She says on her Web site that attending a Tea Party event last year also helped her make up her mind to run. She has been endorsed by the Illinois Federation for Right to Life, an anti-abortion group.
Newman, who resides in the neighboring 19th Congressional District, also lists her anti-abortion stance high on her campaign Web site, as well as her stances against taxes and amnesty for illegal aliens.
Both want to reduce taxes and both are leery of the cost of the health care reform plan approved by Congress.
"Mrs. Kormos and I have a lot of the same views," Newman said. "By all accounts, she's a fine person. But I am a world-class problem solver. I'm the answer gal."
Kormos agrees they agree on some issues and says the election is about "character."
She points to Newman's residence outside of the 12th district and Newman's decision in 2008 to compete in a competition at an alternative St. Louis-area newspaper to write an advice column for "cougars," or women who prefer dating younger men.
Newman calls the claims "crapola."
Neither is raising much money. Kormos has spent about $11,500 in her bid, while Newman hasn't reported any fundraising activity.
The winner of the race will face-off against Costello and Green Party candidate Rodger Jennings of Alton, neither of whom have opposition in the Feb. 2 primary.
Costello of Belleville reports having $2.2 million in his campaign account. He has served the 12th district since 1988.
The district stretches from East St. Louis south and includes all or parts of Alexander, Pulaski, Union, Williamson, Jackson, Franklin, Perry and Randolph counties.
Kormos' campaign Web site is at www.votekormos.com. Newman's campaign Web site is www.voteforteri2010.com.
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