As we hinted at previously, Dr. Arie Friedman of Highland Park has decided to throw his hat in the ring to run for the new 29th District State Senate seat in 2012, for which incumbent Susan Garrett has decided not to run for again. You can view his committee documentation here.
As Team America readers know well, Friedman ran a good race in the Republican primary against now-Congressman Bob Dold in last cycle's 10th Congressional District race, and has stayed active in the local political scene. He is very well thought of in the party among both conservatives and moderates. He also recently started a PAC, focused on heathcare and health insurance reform. Friedman is a navy veteran, having served as a wartime helicopter pilot and is currently a pediatrican in private practice. He and his wife Michelle are the proud parents of five children.
Friedman talked to Team America this weekend and told us that, after careful consideration, he's made his decision, and he's in.
"I will be making a formal announcement regarding my intentions in the 29th State Senate District at the end of the month," Friedman told Team America. "In the meantime, setting up this campaign committee is an essential step towards building a team, raising money, and making sure we hit the ground running. I'm very grateful to the friends and supporters who've been encouraging me to run - not the least of whom is Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran who has volunteered to be my campaign chairman."
Friedman pointed out that "one of the most important characteristics of the new 29th District is its very high percentage of independent voters. I strongly believe that independent minded citizens see how dangerous and unacceptable our fiscal situation has become. Frankly, Michelle and I are afraid that our own children won't be able to stay in Illinois if things continue this way. We should all be asking ourselves how much of what has gone on in Illinois for the past decade do we want more of?"
Friedman is going to be a formidable candidate. Just his military service alone impresses:
Prior to attending medical school, Dr. Friedman served in the United States Navy as a helicopter pilot. During his seven years of active duty, Dr. Friedman flew SH-60B Seahawk helicopters out of Naval Air Station North Island, California, from which he deployed twice, including once to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Storm. Upon completing his fleet tour, Dr. Friedman returned to Pensacola, Florida, as a military Instructor Pilot teaching advanced helicopter operations and tactics. During the span of his naval aviation career, Dr. Friedman conducted 406 shipboard landings including 183 at night.
Friedman told me he likely will be making his official announcement at a campaign event he has planned for Monday, August 29th. More details on that to come. Friedman's website, though not yet active, will be friedmanforsenate.com
So far, no other Republicans have come forward in the wake of Garrett's retirement announcement to announce their candidacy. Current State Rep. Sid Mathias was rumored to be considering a run for the spot, among exploring other options. I was skeptical of that report, until I discussed it with Sid himself, who confirmed to me that the 29th senate seat was on his radar, but he had not yet made up his mind. I told Sid I really hoped he would decide to run again for state rep in the redrawn 59th Legislstive District, into which his home was mapped, which would pit him against current Democrat Carol Sente. I think Sid would have a great chance against Sente, and Friedman would be a great candidate in the 29th, especially given the lackluster field that the Dems seem to be contemplating now. Hopefully these guys can work it out.
I'm getting more excited about the 2012 cycle than ever. Thoughts, reactions?
UPDATED 9:00 pm: I am waiting for a call back from Sid Mathias to confirm, but very reliable sources are telling me that Sid has made up his mind and will challenge incumbent Carol Sente in the 59th Legislative District. Much more on this later.