Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert may leave office before his term expires in 2008, according to subscription-only RollCall.com. Hastert—who has already announced that he won't seek reelection—is reportedly telling colleagues that he'll leave office later this year, and sources say an official announcement is likely "soon." The move could mean a special election in his Illinois district.
The election could take place along with Illinois' presidential primary on February 5—when strong turnout for Barack Obama might give Republicans more trouble than usual in the conservative district. Three Republicans and one Democrat are already running, but congressional Democrats have significantly more campaign cash than GOP counterparts.