Budzinski and Deering will face off for the 13th District Congressional seat in November
Longtime Democratic organizer Nikki Budzinski will take on Republican Regan Deering in November’s general election battle for Illinois’ 13th congressional district after winning their primaries on Tuesday night.
Budzinski easily beat opponent David Palmer while Deering faced a closer race, beating three challengers for the GOP nomination.
The winner will represent an area stretching from Metro East to Springfield, Decatur and Champaign – a district designed to elect a Democrat.
But Budzinski, who recently worked in the Biden and Pritzker administrations, told NPR Illinois she wasn’t taking any chances.
“Because it’s a swing district. I think this is a neighborhood that Democrats can’t take for granted,” she said on her election night at JP Kelly’s in Springfield. “And I don’t think anyone is. I think we know it’s going to be a tough cycle, so we want to come in and we’re going to knock that seat down.
Budzinski entered the race last summer, before Democrats in the General Assembly even began hearings on what Illinois’ new congressional map might look like after the post-decadal redistricting process. census.
At the time, Budzinski immediately began campaigning against U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville), who was eventually drawn into Illinois’ new 15th congressional district – a race he lost to the Donald Trump-endorsed freshman U.S. Representative Mary Miller on Tuesday night. .
Budzinski on Tuesday assessed Davis’ loss as partly a referendum on the “authenticity” of her potential foe, but quickly returned the conversation to the “work family” issues she has focused her campaign on.
“For me, it’s about lowering the cost of prescription drugs, capping the cost of insulin,” she said. “When I worked for the governor, I worked on issues like broadband. These shouldn’t be — and they aren’t — Democratic or Republican issues. People crave common ground and stability.
Deering claimed victory later Tuesday night after snap election results put her neck and neck with former federal prosecutor Jesse Reising after Raising raised nearly 23 more than Deering in campaign funds. However, Reising only spent about 71% of the nearly $458,000 in her war chest, while Deering spent the vast majority of the $374,000 she raised, including a $150,000 loan. of herself.
Deering has a background as a community activist in her hometown of Decatur and is the granddaughter of the founder of soybean processing giant Archer Daniels Midland. She says she plans to hit Budzinski on a tough issue for Democrats in 2022: inflation.
“The costs of inflation are really hitting everyday wallets,” she said on Tuesday. “It is going to be a big problem in the November poll. If we’re going to win Central Illinois, it’s going to be on those wallet issues.
During a June debate hosted by Illinois Public Media, Deering remained close to former President Trump’s loyalists, dodging questions about whether the 2020 election was free and fair.
Additional reporting by Emily Hays/Illinois Public Media.