STOKKE TO SUCCEED HASTERT? Robert D. Novak plans to report this weekend in his always-delicious tidbits column (which doesn't run in The Washington Post, but is usually in Saturday's New York Post):
"Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert has indicated to a close former aide that it is likely he will not run for a 12th term from his northern Illinois district and may even resign from Congress before his present term concludes. That runs counter to widespread speculation on Capitol Hill that Hastert will continue in the House for another two years as a private member with no leadership responsibilities. Since last year's Democratic takeover of Congress moved him out of the speaker's office, he has enjoyed returning to his former specialty of energy issues as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. A footnote: If Hastert does not run, a leading candidate will be his chief of staff, Mike Stokke. Before going on Hastert's staff, Stokke was an aide for both the Illinois state legislature and the governor's office in Springfield."
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