Nov 17, 2021 - Politics

Sizing up the Illinois GOP's 2022 midterm chances

Photo of a woman at a podium in front of the Capitol building.

U.S. Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.) attends a news conference outside the Capitol. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has yet to sign the new congressional map into law, but that hasn't stopped some candidates from jockeying for early positions for the midterms.

Why it matters: Illinois Republicans are energized after the GOP's gubernatorial win in Virginia, hoping the momentum swings the state from blue to red.

  • Glenn Youngkin's win — without the help of former President Trump — could mean that pols like U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger see a winnable path here, too.
  • They're banking on it, even with the election a year away.

Do you have your scorecards out? Here is where the current GOP delegation stands:

  • Rodney Davis: The downstate Republican with D.C. experience and pro-Trump credentials has yet to announce if he's going to run for the plum 15th district seat that he's been redistricted into. He's also been rumored to be mulling a run for governor.
  • Mary Miller: The downstate freshman was redrawn out of her seat. Since you don't have to live in your own district, she has been rumored to be interested in running against fellow Trumper Mike Bost in the 12th. Or she could run in the 15th, if Davis does run for governor.
  • Kinzinger: He's not running again after losing his district in the remap. But he hasn't ruled out higher office, including president. If he ran for governor, he'd aim to use his anti-Trump credentials to sway moderates and his Tea Party roots to court conservatives.

And one prominent Democrat wants to move up:

  • Gilbert Villegas: Once floor leader for Mayor Lori Lightfoot in City Council, the alderperson is running in the newly-drawn 3rd. It leans majority Latino, and its incumbent Marie Newman has already said she's going to take on fellow Democrat Sean Casten in the 6th.

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