The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) will become active in Illinois' 12th congressional district.
Incumbent Congressman Mike Bost (R-IL,12) is facing a challenge from Democrat and lawyer C.J. Baricevic.
The DCCC considers the contest among this year's "emerging races" and says it will lend its "financial, communications, grassroots and strategic support" to help get Baricevic elected, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"Since announcing his campaign for Congress, Baricevic has outraised his opponent Republican Mike Bost, was the first to air a television ad, and has received the endorsements of, among others, United Steelworkers and the Alliance for Retired Americans," reads a DCCC statement.
The DCCC had previously backed another possible candidate who was looking to challenge Bost but later decided against running.
Baricevic's spokesman said the campaign won't turn down DCCC's assistance, though he noted that Baricevic has been doing fine so far without such help, noting that the campaign already has a "groundswell of support."
Baricevic is also seeking to draw a distinction between himself and national democrats on the issues of trade and coal.
"We have never really been one to cater to the national party," Baricevic spokesman Barzin Emami told the newspaper. "We don't agree with all their platform. We are Southern Illinois Democrats. A Southern Illinois Democrat is different from a Nancy Pelosi Democrat."
The Bost campaign is pouncing on the opportunity to link Baricevic to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), claiming that "she's looking for loyal foot soldiers and she knows our opponent would vote in lockstep with the Clinton-Pelosi agenda."
The 12th congressional district, located in southwestern Illinois, runs along the Mississippi River, stretching from Alton in the north to Cairo in the south.