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Second draft of Illinois congressional map would put LaHood and Kinzinger in the same district

Seth Perlman

Republican incumbents Darin LaHood and Adam Kinzinger would be shoved into the same congressional district under an updated version of the redistricting map released Saturday.

The map, drawn by Illinois Democrats, is different than the one released Aug. 15. That first draft was skewered by Republicans who called it the “Nancy Pelosi protection plan” and even by some Democrats, who wanted their party to protect their House majority more aggressively.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, seen here during a July 2021 hearing, is a member of the air national guard.
Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Under the map released Saturday, Bloomington-Normal and Greater Peoria would each be split up across the same two congressional districts—the 16th and 17th. LaHood (who lives in Dunlap near Peoria) and Kinzinger (a Bloomington-Normal native who now lives in Channahon) would both live in the 16th District, a safe Republican district that includes rural portions of McLean, Tazewell, Woodford, and Livingston counties, among others.

Theoretically, LaHood and Kinzinger would face each other in the June 2022 GOP primary. However, Kinzinger said last week he was reviewing “all of the options” for his political future, including those outside the House.

Bloomington-Normal and Greater Peoria’s other district (the 17th) would lean even more Democratic than it did than during the first draft. (President Biden won its territory by 9 points.) The new 17th would also include parts of the Quad Cities and Rockford.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos currently represents the 17th District, but she’s not seeking another term. Several candidates have already announced plans to run.

One notable change from the first draft is that McLean County would now only be split up into two districts, instead of three.

Saturday’s map also makes it likely U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis would no longer represent any portion of Bloomington-Normal in the House. Davis, a Republican from Taylorville, would be placed into the new 15th Congressional District.

It’s unclear if Davis will seek re-election to that seat or possibly run for governor.

The new map is designed to give Democrats the advantage in 14 of the state’s 17 congressional districts, reducing the number of likely GOP seats to three. The state lost one of its congressional seats after the 2020 census.

State lawmakers are expected to discuss congressional maps this coming week in Springfield.

Copyright 2021 WGLT

Ryan Denham started his career as a copy editor and later business and city government reporter at The Pantagraph in 2006. He later worked for WJBC radio in Bloomington. He now works in website development for Illinois State University and is a freelance reporter for WGLT.