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Illinois Republican John Shimkus not running for reelection in 2020

12-term lawmaker leaves behind a safe Republican seat

Illinois Rep. John Shimkus is the ninth Republican to announce plans to retire so far this cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. John Shimkus will not run for a 13th term in his southeastern Illinois district, vacating what will likely remain a safe Republican seat in 2020.

Shimkus announced his decision Friday afternoon, saying he wanted to make his plans known as candidates begin to circulate petitions for office next week. 

“Serving in Congress has been a blessing, but it has also been a sacrifice for my wife Karen, and our boys,” he said in a statement. “I regret the times I have been away from the four of them and thank them for their constant love and support.”

Shimkus is the 10th House Republican to announce plans to retire in 2020. Shimkus unsuccessfully ran for Energy and Commerce Committee chairman in 2016, losing to Oregon Rep. Greg Walden.

He had been raising money this year to run again, with total receipts of $257,000 in the quarter ending June 30 and nearly $1.2 million in his campaign account. During the same period, no Democrat reported any fundraising to oppose him, according to Federal Election Commission records.

First elected in 1996, Shimkus won a 12th term last fall by 42 points. President Donald Trump carried his 15th District by 46 points in 2016. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Solid Republican

Shimkus owns a Capitol Hill townhouse where he has long lived with House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Ways and Means ranking member Kevin Brady. Former Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen had also lived with them before he lost his reelection bid last fall. It was not immediately clear what Shimkus’s retirement plans mean for his roommates.

Lindsey McPherson contributed to this report. 

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