Quinn to Pick Sheila Simon

The daughter of former United States Sen. Paul Simon appears to be Gov. Pat Quinn's pick for lieutenant governor, Springfield sources tell Ward Room.

Simon, who has described her own chances of being a nominee "a long shot", is a former member of the Carbondale City Council and a member of Quinn's government reform commission. She threw her hat into the ring ealier this month with a YouTube campaign video.

Simon's nomination would be a surprise, given widely published media reports that Quinn was favoring State Sen. Susan Garrett for the position. But Springfield sources say "downstate lawmakers prevailed" in their private meetings with Quinn. 

Having Simon on the ticket would ostensibly help Quinn defend against any charges of ethical impropriety.

Quinn's campaign declined to comment. The governor is scheduled to reveal his choice Friday at 2pm. The Illinois Democratic Party is expected to affirm that decision on Saturday.

A Quinn/Simon ticket would not be without irony. It was Sheila Simon's father, the late Paul Simon who served as Lt. Gov. from 1969-1973, who is largely responsible for making this post-Scott Lee Cohen situation possible in the first place.

The Illinois Democratic Party began accepting applications for the Lt. Gov nomination last month. The ticket was left incomplete after the original nominee, Scott Lee Cohen, stepped aside.

At the time, Quinn called Cohen's move "the right decision."

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