Posted Online: Nov. 05, 2012, 4:49 pm

Southern Illinois candidates make last minute push

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GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) Candidates in southern Illinois' hotly contested congressional race are making an 11th-hour push for votes.

There's an open seat in the 12th District because Democratic Congressman Jerry Costello is retiring. Republicans hope to pick up the seat for their party.

Democrat Bill Enyart is a Belleville attorney who has served as the Illinois National Guard's chief. He courted voters at a Granite City steel mill on Monday after rallying college students during his several-day tour of the largely economically distressed district.

His rival, Republican lumber company executive Jason Plummer, zigzagged from 12th District county to county. He chatted up would-be voters in diners and other small businesses. By Plummer's side was Rep. John Shimkus, a fellow Republican and veteran federal lawmaker who is expected to win his Illinois congressional race.