Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Illinois)
Belleville, IL (KSDK) - Longtime Congressman Jerry Costello (D-Illinois) will not seek re-election in 2012.
Costello, who began serving in August 1988 following a special election, is set to officially announce his decision at 11 a.m. at the St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia, Illinois.
He currently serves on the House Committee on Science and Technology and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Illinois' 12th Congressional District stretches across southeastern Illinois, encompassing Alton, Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis and Granite City.
Congressman John Shimkus (R-Illinois) issued the following statement about Costello's retirement:
"This morning I received a call from Congressman Jerry Costello informing me that he has decided to retire from public office as a Member of Congress. This is a great loss for Southern Illinois and a personal loss for me.
"While we hail from different political parties, I have counted Jerry as one of my closest friends and confidants. I have been amazed at the productivity of Jerry in meeting the needs of the working men and women that he represents. In the House majority or in the minority, Jerry always seemed to get the job done. Regardless of who held the White House, Jerry was always able to get the work done.
"Many have heard me call him the patron saint of Scott Air Force Base. Well even patron saints retire, which will cause all of us to work a little harder to fill this gap. To Georgia and the entire Costello clan, thanks for sharing Jerry with me, Southern Illinois, and the country."
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin released this statement on Costello's decision:
"Jerry Costello is without question the most effective advocate for his district that I have worked with in Congress. As one example, his energy and skill did more to save Scott Air Force Base from being closed by the BRAC process than any other factor. I will personally miss his leadership and his council in our Illinois delegation."
Republican Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois released his own statement, complimenting the retiring Costello:
"Congressman Costello is a dear friend and a respected transportation expert in the Congress. He has many Republican and Democratic admirers. I will miss him greatly."
DCCC Chairman Steve Israel released the following statement on Congressman Jerry Costello's (IL-12) announcement that he will retire in 2012.
"For more than two decades, Congressman Jerry Costello has been a champion for Southwestern and Southern Illinois families and a delegation leader. He has fought to create local jobs, improve research and development of clean coal technologies, and strengthen our transportation infrastructure. Congressman Costello is also a leading advocate on aviation issues and with his leadership the House passed the strongest aviation safety bill in over 50 years.
"On behalf of the DCCC, I thank Jerry Costello for his distinguished service in the House.
"This is a strong Democratic district that both President Obama and Senator Kerry won and we look forward to electing a Democrat next November who will represent middle class families and fight to create local jobs and grow the economy."
National Republican Congressional Committee Regional Press Secretary Andrea Bozek issued the following statement:
"Jerry Costello saw the writing on the wall and knew that he couldn't defend his decades of job-destroying policies that have made our economy worse. After years of listening to Jerry Costello pay lip service to fiscal responsibility, Illinois working families will finally have the chance to elect a candidate that truly represents their values."