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Ozinga Cements Candidacy

By Kevin Robinson in News on May 1, 2008 3:09PM

2008_5_marty_ozinga.jpgThe Illinois State GOP made their love of local business magnates official yesterday, anointing Martin Ozinga, of Ozinga Cement fame, as their candidate the 11th District congressional seat left open by Jerry Weller's retirement. The party picked Ozinga as a replacement candidate after New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann dropped out of the race. "We are excited to have Marty on the ticket," said Illinois Republican Party Chairman Andy McKenna in a statement after the decision was announced Wednesday morning. Ozinga will face Democratic State Senator Debbie Halvorson and Green Party candidate Jason Wallace in the fall.

After losing Dennis Hastert's seat to scientist Bill Foster earlier this spring, the state GOP is looking to Ozinga for a win, banking on his name recognition and fund-raising abilities. The concrete magnate told the AP that he doesn't believe in self-financing his campaign, counting instead on strong financial support from the community. Ozinga is pledging to spend no more than $350K of his own funds on a race that is expected to cost around $3 million. He's already raised over $400K from about 300 donors.