Defeated less than three weeks ago, U.S. Rep. Phil Hare, D-Ill., said Friday he’s thinking about running again in 2012.

He said he probably wouldn’t make a decision for at least another couple of months.

“I love the work, and I don’t want to say just yet I’m not going to run,” he said Friday afternoon in an interview with the Quad-City Times. “I just don’t want to shut any doors yet.”

Hare told the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call earlier in the day he was seriously considering another bid.

On election night, Hare said he would not run again. But on Friday, he said that his comments were made hard on the heels of a bitter 16-month campaign, and he wasn’t ready to “put my family through it” again. Since Nov. 2, he said he has been asked by constituents and colleagues in Congress to reconsider.

Hare said he would spend the next couple of months with his family and would talk to them about whether to try again.

First elected in 2006, Hare lost a bid for a third term to Republican Bobby Schilling, 53 percent to 43 percent.

Even if Hare were to run again, he may not get a clear path to the Democratic nomination. In 2006, Hare was one of several Democrats who went for the nomination.

It’s also not certain he would even go up against Schilling.

Congressional boundaries will be redrawn again next spring, as they are every 10 years, and nobody knows yet what the new district lines will look like. Illinois also will be losing a congressional district.

Schilling, who will take office in January, has been in Washington, D.C., this week for orientation.

Still, the congressman-elect is cognizant of a possible challenge, particularly in a district that had been in Democratic hands for so many years. He is keeping his campaign office open, and his son and campaign manager, Terry, is still on staff.

Reached Friday, Terry Schilling said it was Hare’s prerogative to consider running again. But he added, “I think the voters have spoken about Phil Hare and his leadership.”


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