Evans steps down
Rep. Lane Evans will announce at noon today that he will not seek re-election in November, sources have confirmed.What now?
The 12-term incumbent was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1995. He has not participated in any votes in the House since Feb. 15. He has been away from work on the suggestion of his doctors.
Rep. Evans' office said there would be an announcement made today at 1 p.m. Washington time, noon local time, but would not give further details.
Former state Sen. Denny Jacobs, of East Moline, confirmed that Rep. Evans would not seek election in the fall because of his ongoing health problems.
"It is unfortunate he had to go out this way," Mr. Jacobs said. "It's much nicer to go out on top. My understanding is his doctors and his brothers said `Enough is enough. This is killing you.' Lane Evans exemplifies service above self."
Rep. Evans, who was nominated earlier this month for a 13th term in Congress, has been at his Washington home since Feb. 15, and an aide on Monday declined to speculate about when the congressman would return to work, raising the possibility that he will miss another week of votes.
Rep. Evans absence from work has been on the suggestion of his doctors as a way to combat the effects of Parkinson's disease.
Steve Vetzner, spokesman for Rep. Evans, would not say Monday whether the congressman would return to work this week, nor would he say whether the congressman plans to announce his return in advance.
The House of Representatives was out of session last week, but returned this week with the first votes scheduled for this evening. It plans to take up a slate of non-controversial bills today, and then on Wednesday and Thursday is to vote on the reauthorization of higher education programs and a bill to exempt online speech from federal campaign laws.
First elected in 1982, Rep. Evans, 54, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1995. He has stated, through Mr. Vetzner, that he plans to resume work at an unspecified later date and plans to pursue his re-election campaign.
Evans' 2004 opponent, former television broadcaster Andrea Zinga of Coal Valley, won the GOP nomination for the office in the primary this month.
Schweibert is on the short list.
More at Passing Parade
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's statement regarding Lane Evans' retirement announcement.