House Races for Illinois Representatives Stoke Washington’s Balance of Power – NBC Chicago

CHICAGO — Tuesday’s race for the US House of Representatives in Illinois’ newly redrawn 17th District could be key to Democrats maintaining their slim majority in the House as freshmen battle to fill the vacancy left by the representative. Retired Democrat Cheri Bustos.

The district stretches from Rockford in the north to Peoria and Bloomington in central Illinois.

Illinois lost one of its 18 House seats after the 2020 census. Democrats, who control state government and redistricting in Illinois, were met with rejection of the new maps by Republicans and beyond.

Esther Joy King, an attorney serving in the Army Reserves, is the district’s Republican nominee. In 2020, King came within a few percentage points of ousting Bustos, who was running for a fifth term.

High on King’s list of priorities are agriculture and bipartisan cooperation, which she says are key to serving the district’s needs.

King is facing Democrat Eric Sorensen, a Rockford native who worked as a meteorologist in Rockford and the Quad Cities for nearly 20 years.

For Sorensen, whose motto is “Forecasting a Bright Future for Illinois,” addressing inflation and strengthening reproductive rights are the most important issues.

He calls for bipartisan efforts to reduce the costs of food, health care and gas, and says he disagrees with the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, who struck down the constitutional protection for abortion. Safe and legal abortion is a reproductive right and is a health matter between a woman and her doctor, according to Sorensen.

His campaign clashed with King’s over the issue when a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announcement claimed that King’s pro-life stance would ban abortions in Illinois, even in cases of rape or incest.

King said during a debate on Oct. 3 that he supports exceptions in cases of rape, incest or threat to the life of the mother, and would oppose a federal ban on abortion.

The race for the 13th district, which spans Champaign, Decatur and Springfield in central Illinois to eastern St. Louis in the southwest, is also being watched.

The redistricting moved incumbent Rep. Rodney Davis to a different district, where he lost to Rep. Mary Miller, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Democrat Nikki Budzinski of Peoria and Republican Regan Deering of Decatur are aiming to fill the void.

Budzinski is a labor activist, a former staffer in the Biden administration, and a senior adviser to Gov. JB Pritzker. She is working on rebuilding the middle class.

“Workers are fighting right now with rising costs, and I want to go to Congress to be their fighter,” she said in a debate on Oct. 6, where she voiced her support for Medicare and Social Security protections, the women’s right to choose and financing of public schools.

For Deering, a philanthropist and former educator, securing the US-Mexico border and reining in “reckless spending” are top priorities.

Just west of Chicago, US Rep. Sean Casten, a Democrat representing Illinois’ 6th District, is running for re-election against Republican Keith Pekau, the mayor of Orland Park, a city about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southwest. from Chicago. In a last-minute show of support, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy campaigned with Pekau at a fundraiser outside Chicago four days before the election.

Casten has raised and spent four times as much as his opponent in his quest for a third term, according to the Federal Election Commission.

The former scientist soundly defeated incumbent Rep. Marie Newman for the Democratic nomination, after redistricting merged their districts.

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