Retha Daugherty, small-business owner in Carbondale, has announced her intention to be on the ballot in November of 2012 as an Independent candidate.

Daugherty intends to challenge both Democrats and Republicans for the 12th Congressional District seat, which is being vacated by U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville.

"If there is one thing on which most of us can agree, it is that our government in Washington has become dysfunctional and unresponsive the needs and best interests of the American people," Daugherty said in a news release. "Gridlock, special interests, and the self-interests of Washington politicians have become the way of the land."

Daugherty continued: "The people's business is not getting done. Out economy has been brought to its knees since the crash of 2008, brought on by Wall Street's unbridled corruption and greed. Unemployment remains at unacceptable levels, and the middle class is being squeezed out of existence, with one of every two Americans now living in poverty. In the face of these major issues and problems, party bosses and partisan members play politics and gridlock continues."

She said, "In 2012, I want to give the voters of this district a better choice. When elected, I will support legislation to put our people back to work"

Daugherty has launched a website at daughertyforthepeople.com

The district stretches from Madison County south to Alexander and Pulaski counties and includes Carbondale, Marion, Benton, Mount Vernon and Chester.

Jason Plummer, a Fairview Heights lumber company executive who was the 2010 GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, will face former Belleville Mayor Rodger Cook of St. Libory in the March 20 Republican primary. Also filing on the GOP side was Theresa Kormos of O'Fallon, who made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination in 2010.

On the Democratic side, Christopher Miller of Carbondale filed to take on Brad Harriman of O'Fallon. Miller is a nine-year Army veteran who received a Purple Heart in 2004 after being injured when a suicide bomber drove a truck into Miller's vehicle during one of his two tours in Iraq. Harriman is a former St. Clair County regional school superintendent.



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