WASHINGTON--Rep. Joe Walsh will announce plans for his political future on Thursday night at a Tea Party meeting in Chicago, his campaign announced on Tuesday.
Walsh said in a relase "After spending the last week discussing his options with family, supporters, and party officials, Congressman Walsh believes the choice is clear."
Monday came and went with no word from Walsh over whether he would he make a 2012 re-election bid from the new 14th district, which he had announced he was going to do--thrusting him in a GOP primary with Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) or run from the new 8th district, a move he has been exploring. The 8th, drawn in the new map to be a Democratic district, has no well known Republican running. Democrats Raja Krishnamoorthi and Tammy Duckworth are locked in an 8th district Democratic primary battle.
Walsh signaled on Saturday he would have an announcement on Monday, but he did not. Perhaps Walsh has a third option in mind--his statement leaves open the possibility of another move. What is unusual is the venue Walsh is choosing, a Chicago Tea Party meeting in Wrigleyville, at The Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison St. Walsh has always identified more with the Tea Party movement than with the GOP establishment.
In his release Walsh said, "During my first year in office I upheld my campaign promise to do everything I could to rein in the mistakes that were made by the Obama Administration. From voting to repeal Obamacare, cutting spending, cutting taxes, and cutting the size of government, I have made it my mission to stop and roll back the damage that President Obama and Nancy Pelosi created. At the same time, I have also challenged my own party leadership when I think they did not go far enough. It is for that reason that I was one of only 22 Republicans who opposed the compromise that created the failed Super Committee.
"I did not run for Congress to become part of Washington, I went to Washington to change the way Washington worked. It is why I have pledged to only serve three terms, it is why I turned down my health care and pension, it is why I sleep on my couch, and it is why I come home every single week and have hosted close to one hundred town halls.
"During those numerous town halls I have heard from Republicans, Democrats, and Independents who feel as if both parties have failed them, and that Washington is out of control. Like me they feel as though their country is being taken away from them, and that it is time to be bold. Whether you call them tea party members or just frustrated, patriotic Americans, this group of individuals is growing. They are fed up and want change now. I can think of no better place to announce important news concerning my re-election than in front of these folks at the Chicago Tea Party meeting."