Most Republicans expect Rep. Joe Walsh to run in Illinois redrawn 14th district next year, but he has not formally announced where he will seek re-election.
Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) told supporters last week he will seek re-election in the redrawn 14th district.
Hultgren’s announcement sets up a likely primary matchup with Rep. Joe Walsh, another freshman Republican. Walsh has not declared where he’ll run for re-election, but Republicans expect him to also seek the redrawn 14th district seat.
The Democratic-led overhaul of Illinois' Congressional map wreaked havoc on the GOP-held House seats in the state, moving many Republican Members into solidly Democratic districts or into the same districts as their GOP colleagues. Democrats drastically changed the 14th district, which includes the residences of both Hultgren and Walsh. Hultgren represents the current 14th district while Walsh represents the 8th district, although the redrawn 14th has portions of Walsh's current territory.
Republicans filed a lawsuit in late July protesting the new map, and almost every Republican Member in the Illinois delegation has since kept mum on their future electoral plans while the case plays out in court. Hultgren marks only the second Illinois GOP Member to declare in which district he will seek re-election. Earlier this year, Rep. Timothy Johnson (R) announced he'll run in the 13th district.
“I hope that I’ve lived up to the promises I made to you last fall and that you have been proud of the way I’ve represented you so far in Washington,” Hultgren wrote in a letter to supporters last week, according to the Northwest Herald. “Many challenges lay ahead, but I’m optimistic that together we can turn our country around.”
Hultgren’s spokesman also confirmed to Roll Call that the Congressman plans to run in the 14th district.
The redrawn district includes parts of McHenry, Kane, Kendall and DeKalb counties. Democrats shifted the district east toward Chicago, making it a more Republican seat in the process.
Walsh's current 8th district is on the state’s northeast border, but mapmakers moved that district to Chicago’s northwest side, making it a more Democratic seat. As a result, many Republicans see the nearby, GOP-leaning 14th district as Walsh's best bet to win re-election.
Walsh's spokesman did not return an email seeking comment.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.