Novak: Hastert to retire before end of term.

Last week, Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) announced that he will not seek re-election in 2008. In his e-mail newsletter today, Robert Novak reported that Hastert won’t be finishing out his term and will retire on Nov. 6:

hastertcolo2.jpg An Illinois Republican source tells us former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) plans to resign November 6 this year instead of finishing out his term. This would create a vacancy and trigger a special election in the 14th District.

Under Illinois statute, the governor, Rod Blagojevich (D), would get to pick the date of both of the special general election and the special primary election (with separate ballots for each party). The general election would have to be within 120 days of the vacancy (meaning by early March, if the November 6 resignation date holds). February 5 is the date for Illinois’s presidential and congressional primaries, and slating the special election — either the primaries or the general — on that date would save state money.