US Senate Race for Illinois - 2004

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Republican Candidates
Alan Keyes
Jack Ryan
John Borling
Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria
Andy McKenna
Jim Oberweis
Steven Rauschenberger
Jonathan Wright
Antonio Davis-Fairman
John Cox
Patrick O'Malley
Jim Durkin

Democratic Candidates
Barack Obama
Gery Chico
Blair Hull
Estella Johnson-Hunt
Dan Hynes
Maria Pappas
Nancy Skinner
Joyce Washington
Frank Avila
Matt O'Shea
John Simmons

Color Codes:
Black - Potential Candidate
Green - Active Candidate
Red - Lost
Orange - Candidate has dropped out or is not running


John Simmons - Democrat

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The Issues

John Simmons
Occupation personal injury lawyer
Age 35
Marital Status Married
Address 15 Pinebrook Court
Edwardsville, Illinois , United States
Notes Simmons has dropped out of the race only seven weeks after entering. Throwing his support behind Dan Hynes, the current front runner.

"Dan's the man," Simmons said. "He'll do great for us."

The surprise move is an important boost for Hynes, who already has lined up the backing of southern Illinois political power Glenn Poshard and 71 of the 96 Downstate Democratic county chairmen in his quest to replace Republican Sen. Peter Fitzgerald.

Simmons made his fortune representing workers who develop cancer after exposure to asbestos. In March, a jury awarded $250 million to a retired steelworker Simmons' firm represented in a case against U.S. Steel Corp.

Simmons said he was prepared to match Hull, who has said he could use as much of $40 million of his own money. "I'm prepared to put 100 percent in, if that's what it takes," Simmons said

Simmons, 35, lives in Edwardsville, near St. Louis. As the only Downstate Democrat, he could grab much of the Downstate vote, while the six Chicago candidates split the metropolitan area vote.

Glenn Poshard, said he never heard of Simmons and doubted Downstaters would flock to his candidacy as they did Poshard's in 1998.

"I can't imagine somebody just jumping in and carrying all of Downstate with no service in the party at all," Poshard said. "In my case, I was a familiar figure to the Downstate people, you know, and I worked really hard. . . . For somebody's that's paid their dues and [is] perceived to have paid their dues, that's one thing to Downstaters, but somebody who is jumping in because they maybe have the money to run or they're wanting to run with no background and no experience and no base--never having really paid their dues--I don't think they'll be looked upon by Downstaters in the same light."

John Simmons grew up in Southern Illinois. He was honorably discharged in 1988 from the U.S. Army where he served as a combat engineer. While serving in the Army, John was awarded the Army Good Conduct Medal and the Expert Badge for Rifle and Grenade. He then entered Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville where he made his mark as Student Body President and earned a position in the Dean's College.

From SIU he entered Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas, Texas. After graduating law school, John practiced for two years in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1996, he returned home and then joined a local firm where he eventually was appointed head of the asbestos litigation.

Since opening The Simmons Firm, LLC, John has been joined by former judge Randall A. Bono, attorney and long time friend Marcus E. Raichle, Jr., attorney S. Martin Jansky and attorney Jeffrey S. Cooper. John is a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, and the state bar associations of Illinois, Georgia and Florida.

John is married with four children. He has always been active in the community. He is currently on the Executive Board of the United Way Partnership, a member of the East Alton Rotary, and he sits on the Board of the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville Alumni Association.

Simmons made his fortune representing workers who develop cancer after exposure to asbestos. In March, a jury awarded $250 million to a retired steelworker Simmons' firm represented in a case against U.S. Steel Corp.


Chicago Tribune: Simmons drops Senate bid, endorses Hynes Open Link in New Window - Cached
Simmons quits Senate race - Sun Times Open Link in New Window - Cached
Illinois lawyer Simmons garners support in contest for the Democratic Senate Open Link in New Window - Cached

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-2877 Days to November 2nd Election

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