URBANA — Democrats in the 103rd House District apparently will have at least two candidates to choose from in the primary election next March.
Urbana City Council member Carol Ammons said she will formally announce her candidacy on Tuesday.
The Illinois House seat currently is held by Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, who said earlier this month that she would leave the Legislature when her sixth two-year term expires in January 2015.
Champaign County Board member Michael Richards, who once served with Ammons when she was on the county board, already has announced his candidacy and has garnered Jakobsson's endorsement. He also has managed Jakobsson's last two re-election campaigns.
Ammons said Friday that she had talked to Jakobsson about the race.
"I spoke to Naomi and I have spoken with several other folks in elected positions and in the Statehouse," Ammons said. "It was a positive response to it, and the public response has been very positive too.
"I respect the 12 years (Jakobsson) has served and wanted to get her response about steps I should be looking at. She was very gracious to answer my questions. I understand and respect her right to choose the person she'd like to endorse."
At least three other Democrats — Champaign firefighter Pat Devaney, county board member James Quisenberry of Urbana and Champaign attorney Sam Rosenberg — have expressed interest in the seat.
Kristin Williamson, the vice chair of the Champaign County Republican Party, is the only announced Republican candidate in the heavily Democratic district that includes almost all of Champaign-Urbana.
Prospective candidates have until early December to gather signatures on their candidacy petitions to qualify for the March 18 primary election.
"It's a big decision. You can't take it lightly," said Ammons, who had served on the county board from 2008 to 2012, and was elected to the Urbana council in April. "I'm sure everybody is saying, 'Do I really want to do this?'"
Ammons said she planned to announce her candidacy at noon Tuesday at the Lorado Taft statue of Abraham Lincoln at Carle Park in Urbana.