St. Louis Public Radio News
7:46 am
Mon March 29, 2010

Democrats pick Sheila Simon to run for Lt. Gov.

Springfield, Ill. – Illinois Democrats have selected Sheila Simon to be their nominee for Lieutenant Governor.

She's the daughter of the late US Senator Paul Simon, and won the nomination in a vote of the party's State Central Committee over the weekend.

Simon is a law professor at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and served on the Carbondale City Council before losing a race for Mayor.

She was a late arrival to the Lieutenant Governor's race, only showing interest after primary winner Scott Lee Cohen was forced to step aside amid allegations of past drug use and domestic violence.

Simon admitted her last name helped her get the nod.

"There's certainly no doubt my parents and their involvement in politics gives me a foot in the door," Simon said. "But I think I have to finish it from there."

About 250 people applied for the nomination, but Simon was the choice of Governor Pat Quinn.

The two agree on most issues, including the need for an income tax hike.

If elected to an office her father once held, Sheila Simon said she'll be a voice for women and downstate Illinois.