Bill Enyart, Democratic candidate for Illiniois' 12th District, and his wife, Annette Eckert, make their entrance Nov. 6 at the Bel Air Bowl in Belleville, Ill. (Zia Nizami / Belleville News-Democrat via AP)
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CHICAGO — Former state National Guard chief Bill Enyart has won a southern Illinois congressional race, keeping that seat in Democratic hands as it has been since World War II.
The Belleville attorney defeated the Republican candidate, lumber company executive Jason Plummer, and Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw to win the seat.
The 12th Congressional District stretches from the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis to the state's southernmost tip.
Enyart will succeed Democrat Jerry Costello, who is retiring after more than two decades in office.
Only two men, both Democrats, have represented the 12th District since World War II. But Republicans had viewed the seat as winnable given the GOP's gains two years ago.