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State Sen. Darin Lahood on a motorcycle. | Photo from Darin LaHood’s Facebook page

Sneed: State Sen. Darin LaHood to run for Aaron Schock’s spot

SHARE Sneed: State Sen. Darin LaHood to run for Aaron Schock’s spot
SHARE Sneed: State Sen. Darin LaHood to run for Aaron Schock’s spot

Looking under LaHood . . .

Sneed has learned that State Sen. Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap, the attorney son of popular former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, plans to run for the seat of U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., who abruptly announced Tuesday that he is resigning.

Sneed is told Schock’s resignation, which sent shockwaves through the halls of Congress, was intended to protect his staff from what is expected to be an extensive probe of his congressional spending habits.

“When Schock announced his intent to run for Congress, we wondered, due to his lack of experience, whether he had the maturity,” Ray LaHood said.

“My son will announce within the next couple of days he will run for the seat vacated by Congressman Schock,” he added.

The LaHood name is golden in Peoria and Central Illinois, and the younger LaHood’s General Assembly district covers a big chunk of Schock’s territory.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime political opportunity,” added LaHood, who was a U.S. congressman from Peoria until 2008, when President Barack Obama added him to his Cabinet. “These jobs only come around once like this, and you have to get out there and work hard in a very short period of time.

“The governor mustdeclare a special election within five days after Schock officially vacates his seat on March 31,” Ray LaHood said. “The election is shortly thereafter, which doesn’t leave a lot of time to campaign.

“But this isn’t about me . . . this is about Darin. I don’t think there is any downside to our name. Darin is very popular and I believe he will be the guy in the lead. But I will tell you one thing. I will be his biggest supporter.”

Sneed is also told former State Rep. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, who recently served as running mate for former State Sen. Kirk Dillard’s gubernatorial campaign, also is expected to toss her hat into the ring.

Schock treatment . . .

The big question: Although Schock faces questions about his congressional expenses, the sale of his home, which he sold for $925,000 to a donor, could be his most nettlesome problem.

Schock treatment II . . .

Schock’s sudden resignation prompted this remembrance.

• To wit: Sneed is told that Schock was high on the list of some top Republican bigwigs with bundles of cash — as a prime candidate for governor while billionaire Bruce Rauner was toying with entering the ring!

• Translation: “Schock had these business folks practically bamboozled into thinking he was the next generation pick to do the job,” said a top GOP source.

The Chuy lexicon . . .

Mayoral hopeful Jesus “Chuy” Garcia was criticized by some for pronouncing “nothing” as “nuttin.”

But as the great baseballer Dizzy Dean said, “A lot of people that ain’t sayin’ ‘ain’t,’ ain’t eatin.”

P.S. Sneed hears Garcia used attorney Dave Shafer as his debate practice partner, but don’t know if Shafer played Rahm gruff.

Tips and twaddle . . .

• Mellody, Mellody! What do Oprah Winfrey, Arianna Huffington, David Geffen, Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Bradley and Howard Schultz have in common? They share a love for Ariel Investments’ Mellody Hobson, who is the subject of a love-filled profile in Vanity Fair’s April issue.

• Sharkbite: Now comes word former Congressman Anthony Weiner filmed a cameo in “Sharknado 3,” along with former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and actor David “Baywatch” Hasselhoff.

Sneedlings . . .

The Axe man . . . Former White House adviser/Obama strategist David Axelrod, author of the bestseller “Believer: My Forty Years in Politics,” brings his tome to Misericordia Heart of Mercy, where his beloved daughter, Lauren, lives — for an interview with our Carol Marin . . .Wednesday’s birthdays: Queen Latifah, 45; Vanessa Williams, 52, and Mike Rowe, 53.

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