The News-Gazette reports what is obvious – this is your IL GOP at work, folks. From what I heard, when Johnson made his announcement Clarke already had copies of his resume prepared for distribution along with endorsements of his candidacy.
BLOOMINGTON — Two of the Republicans looking to replace U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson in Congress don’t like the way he pulled out of his re-election race, and believe his decision was orchestrated to benefit his former chief of staff, Jerry Clarke.
Johnson announced on April 5, about two weeks after he won the 13th Congressional District primary election, that he would not run for a seventh term in Congress. Clarke said that day that he was interested in replacing Johnson and that he had already begun calling the county chairmen who will make the appointment.