CHICAGO – Rep. William Lipinski (search), a powerful 11-term Democrat from Chicago, plans to retire from Congress and support his son to replace him in November, his staff said Friday.
Lipinski planned to file papers Friday with the state Board of Elections withdrawing from the ballot, said Jerry Hurckes, Lipinski's chief of staff.
Party officials from the district will choose Lipinski's replacement during a med vote based on how many Democratic ballots were cast in the primary in their ward or township. As a ward committeeman, Lipinski controls about 11 percent of the vote, Hurckes said.
"Obviously he doesn't have total control over what's going on, but he is supporting his son," Hurckes said.
If Daniel Lipinski (search) is selected to replace his father, he would face Republican nominee Ryan Chlada in the general election.
During an interview in June, Lipinski talked to The Associated Press about published reports that he would withdraw his name from the November ballot.
"I will not leave until my work in the House is done," he said then. "It is my plan to run for re-election in November."
This year, Lipinski is especially focused on getting increased transportation funding for Illinois in a massive spending bill up for reconsideration. The bill has been the topic of hot negotiations between the House, Senate and the White House for a number of months, and it could come up for possible final consideration as early as September when Congress reconvenes.
A leading member of the House Transportation Committee, Lipinski has been a frequent point man for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley on the expansion of O'Hare International Airport.
Lipinski will serve until his term expires in January and has not decided exactly what he will do after retirement, Hurckes said.