Gaffney looking to run for House seat in 2012

SPRINGFIELD — Rep. Kent Gaffney, who was sworn in to join the Illinois House Monday, says he intends to run for election in 2012.

Gaffney last week was appointed to finish the term of Rep. Mark Beaubien, who died of a heart attack in June.

Gaffney, a Lake Barrington Republican, said Tuesday he told local officials that he'd want to try to be in the House long term.

“I did not want to do this just as a place holder,” Gaffney said. “I only want to do it if it's for an extended period.”

Before his appointment, Gaffney worked for years as the Illinois House Republicans' top budget staffer, a job that meant he worked closely with Beaubien.

Gaffney hasn't made a campaign announcement yet — he's working to get his government office set up — but said a 2012 race is his intent.

Candidates won't officially file for office until later this year, but some are making plans already because of Illinois' redrawn legislative districts.

The new district in which Gaffney would run includes the southwest corner of Lake County, the southeast corner of McHenry County, and a northwest corner of Cook County.