Paul Simon's Daughter Wants to be Lt. Governor

Calls herself a "longshot"

Saturday, Mar 6, 2010  |  Updated 8:00 PM CDT
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Sen. Paul Simon announcing his intention to seek the presidential nomination. (Photo by Terry Ashe//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

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The Illinois race for lieutenant governor on the Democratic side just got interesting. Really interesting.

The daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon submitted her application to be the next Democratic nominee for the state's unfilled position.

Sheila Simon is a former member of the Carbondale City Council and a member of Gov. Pat Quinn's government reform commission.

She calls her chances of being named the nominee "a long shot." But she says she's committed to helping the Democrats secure a victory this fall.

This week, the Democratic Party began accepting and posting on line applications from people who want to replace primary winner Scott Lee Cohen on the ballot. Cohen has left the race.

A few notables show up on the list of applicants, including former Board of Trade Chairman Patrick Arbor and television reporter-turned-Blagojevich-aide Bob Arya. Most of the other candidates are regular Joes: political neophytes from every walk of life who think they can make a difference in Springfield.

"Honestly, I don’t have a platform," said Antoinette Lefkow, 48, who didn't submit a resume. "I think that someone without political experience should go in there and shake things up."

The more than 175 applicants were asked how they would revamp the office of Lt. Governor to make it more relevant were equally fresh-faced.

"I don’t think we need the office," said Patrick Arbor, Director of Macquarie Futures USA Inc.  "If you take a look at the duties of Lt. Gov it’s pretty limited. … There’s a lot of redundancy and I wouldn’t be averse to ending it. That said, I did throw my hat in the ring and I believe I could be of some service."

Party officials say no time line has been set to pick a candidate.

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