One of the most influential Republicans in Illinois, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) has no plans at present to endorse in the biggest GOP primaries in the state--for governor and in the north suburban eighth congressional district.
``At this point, the Speaker has not made an endorsement in these races,'' said John McGovern, who runs the Hastert political action committee.
The situation could change, but for now Hastert does not want to officially get in the middle of races where he is connected to all the rival camps.
All the GOP gubernatorial hopefuls have appealed to Hastert, said McGovern.
From what I gather, it appears state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka is closest to the Hastert camp. Other major contenders are businessman Ron Gidwitz dairy magnate and investment manager Jim Oberweis and state Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington).
The Republicans in the eighth congressional district are competing for the nomination to deny Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) a second term. At some point, it seems that the national House GOP operation--led by Hastert--would want to make sure the March primary produces the nominee with the best chance to beat Bean.
The Bean seat is one of the top targeted House races in the nation.