Ruscitti to step aside for Joe Walsh, setting stage for heated House race

December 21, 2011

The Associated Press

Rep. Joe Walsh at a town hall meeting earlier this year.

A little-known Illinois Republican is stepping aside for U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh in a race for a House seat in Chicago's northwest suburbs.

Darlene Ruscitti says she wants to avoid a primary battle now that Walsh has announced he will change districts to run for re-election next year.

Walsh is a conservative firebrand well-known nationally for his attacks on President Barack Obama. He was elected to Congress last year.

But state Democrats changed the boundaries of his district to put him in the same area as another first-term Republican, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren. Party leaders then asked Walsh to move to a district that's closer to Chicago and considered friendlier ground for Democrats.

Democrats Tammy Duckworth and Raja Krishnamoorthi (krish-nah-MOOR'-thee) have said they will challenge Walsh.