State Sen. Don Harmon (39th) started 2009 by being named to the Illinois Senate’s leadership. Now he’s looking to start 2010 by winning the 7th District State Central Committeeman seat.

Harmon filed nominating petitions Monday to run for the seat, one of 19 on the Democratic state central committee, and which is currently held by U.S. Rep. Danny Davis. The state central committee is the governing body of the Illinois Democratic Party. Committee tasks include rule-making and slating.

Harmon said he was encouraged to run late last week by local Democrats after Davis had not filed for the state committeeman’s seat as of Friday. With only 100 signatures required, Harmon was able to quickly gather about 300 petition signatures. He filed Monday, as did Davis and four other candidates for the post.

“I decided since the congressman indicated he wasn’t running for re-election, I’d file nominating petitions,” he said.

Tuesday afternoon, Davis called the state committeeman’s position “an important post” and said retaining it is no afterthought. The congressman also filed nominating papers for both the 7th District Illinois Congressional seat and for president of the Cook County Board. He has until Nov. 9 to decide which office he’ll pursue, and formally withdraw from the other race. He said he’ll likely keep his option open until close to that deadline.