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Democrat Says He'll Run Again For Illinois 18th District Congressional Seat

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Cass Herrington/Peoria Public Radio
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Junius Rodriguez, a Democrat, announced his candidacy for the 18th district congressional seat in Peoria on Tues.

A Democratic congressional candidate who lost a chance at the 18th District in 2016 is running again.

Eureka College history professor Junius Rodriguez made his formal announcement Wednesday in front of seven people in Peoria.

Rodriguez says his loss to the Republican candidate, 18th District Rep. Darin LaHood, was a lesson on campaigning. He ran with a self-funded campaign with about $25,000 and a staff of four.

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Junius Rodriguez

“I know that my opponent will likely have a war chest much greater than anything that I can amass in this campaign,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t deny that. But what’s missing on the other side are the ideas.”

Rodriguez says he’s running again in-part because he wants to see a more bipartisan conversation on how the health care system can be improved. He says he also wants to represent the working and middle class.

“You know the medical community operates on the premise ‘do no harm,’” Rodriguez said. “I think the political community should try to live by the same rule, when they’re dealing with the issue of healthcare. Do no harm.”

Rodriguez says he earned more votes than most other Democratic challengers in the deep red district. Incumbent LaHood won that race with more than 70 percent of the vote. LaHood initially won the seat in a special election to fill the vacancy left by Aaron Schock.

Rodriguez is traveling the rest of the district with his announcement this week. He plans stops in Springfield, Bloomington, Macomb and Quincy.  

  • Note: This story was created for and posted originally at Peoria Public Radio.