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Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017 12:05 am

IT’S HAMMER TIME! NOT

Grant Hammer, chief of staff at the Department of Agriculture as well as a member of the Springfield park board, says that talk of him running to replace State Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, R-Leland Grove, in the state legislature is exactly that. Talk. Jimenez, who could’ve had both hands tied behind her back and still beaten her Democratic challenger last year (she got more than 61 percent of the vote running against Tony DelGiorno) shocked many when she recently announced that she won’t run next year to keep her seat. Word began spreading that Hammer, widely seen as a protégé of Gov. Bruce Rauner, would be the party’s choice to keep the seat in GOP hands, which, on paper, shouldn’t be overly difficult, seeing as how the seat has belonged to Republicans since Bill Clinton’s first term in the White House. But Hammer says thanks, but no thanks. “When news broke that Sara’s not running anymore, I got a ton of text messages – it’s very flattering,” Hammer says. “But, at this point, I’m satisfied with my job as chief of staff at the Department of Agriculture. … I’m glad people thought of me. My head got big there for a minute. But it’s not for me now.”

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