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Candidates in the 13th congressional district gear up for next week’s election

With the Illinois primary election less than a week away, 13th district Republican candidate Regan Deering — an entrepreneur and activist – spent the weekend canvassing in Monticello. 

She said voters are most concerned about inflation and how it’s impacting gas and food prices.

Deering said the repeal of the Parental Notice Act, which allows minors in Illinois to get an abortion without a judge’s waiver or parental consent, was “terrible.” She said one man on the campaign trail expressed his concern over the state’s “radical pro-abortion legislation.”

Patrick Pfingsten, a political analyst and writer at The Illinoize, explained that on the Republican side, it’s a two-way tie between former federal prosecutor Jesse Reising and Deering, who both hail from Decatur.

“Deering’s family is very involved in the modern history of Decatur. Her grandfather was Dwayne Andreas, who literally modernized Archer Daniels Midland. So they’re an institution in Decatur,” Pfingsten said. “And the Reising’s have also been around for many years.”

Terry Martin, a former political journalist, and Matt Hausman, an aerospace engineer, are the other Republican candidates.

On the Democratic side, candidate David Palmer — a local businessman and former basketball player — continued his campaign at a recent Juneteenth celebration in Champaign with community members.

“People just wanna make sure we have a safe community that has opportunity in it,” Palmer said. “They wanna make sure that the police treat them the same way that people get treated in southwest Champaign, a more affluent area.”

According to Pfingsten, Palmer is still falling behind his competitor Nikki Budzinski – a former aide to Governor J.B. Pritzker and President Joe Biden – in the primary and general election.

However, Pfingsten hasn’t done any concrete polling in the 13th district to confirm that prediction.

“Nikki Budzinski has run a race that has been very carefully executed,” Pfingsten said. “Palmer has not had the resources to force (Budzinski) into difficult discussions on issues that could alienate the far-left or moderate Democrats.”

While Pfingsten described Budzinski as “well connected” and having “all the money she needs,” he doesn’t see the road to Congress as an easy one.

“She’s going to have to theoretically come out of her cave at some point and start to answer questions. That’s going to put her in awkward positions at times,” Pfingsten said. “Is she going to handle it well, or is she going to handle it like Richard Irvin? His campaign has completely crumbled when he’s had to open his mouth.”

Harrison Malkin is a reporter for Illinois Public Media. Follow him @HarrisonMalkin

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Harrison Malkin

Harrison Malkin

Harrison Malkin is a politics reporter at Illinois Public Media. He's focusing on elections across the state, particularly the 13th and 15th congressional districts and the gubernatorial race. Malkin studied Politics and Communications at Ithaca College, where he was a nightly newscaster and reporter for WICB. From 2020 to 2021, he was a reporting fellow at the Center on Media, Crime, and Justice at John Jay College. You can send a tip, recommendation, or note to hmalkin@illinois.edu.

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