EAST ST. LOUIS -- Carl Officer says he kept his campaign for Barack Obama's former U.S. Senate seat secret from metro-east voters and local politicians because he didn't want negative interference from the St. Clair County Democratic Party.
Officer, a former East St. Louis mayor who is running as a member of the Practical Party, became one of 11 candidates for the Senate seat after he filed 3,452 pages of petitions on Monday containing more than 30,000 signatures -- gathered mostly in the Chicago and Cook County area. Only 25,000 names were needed.
"There was no reason to let them know what I was doing," Officer said Wednesday concerning the county Democratic committee headed by chairman Robert Sprague, a Belleville attorney. Sprague could not be reached.
Asked what he thought the county Democrats might have done to hurt his campaign, Officer responded, "I am not going to speculate."