MOLINE — Democrat Eric Sorensen has declared victory in the 17th Congressional District. His opponent, Republican Esther Joy King, called to concede Wednesday morning.
“This morning, my opponent Esther Joy King called to concede. I thank her for running, and while we disagreed on the issues, we both have a passion for service,” Sorensen said in a statement.
. @ERICSORENSEN says @esther4congress called him to concede. Dems appear to be holding onto #IL17. It was the seat most likely to flip in the Illinois congressional delegation.
Overall, last night was a stronger one than expected for Democrats nationally. pic.twitter.com/Ad6nFlmz9B
— Tim Shelley (@bounty682) November 9, 2022
King’s campaign didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.
With 88% of precincts reporting as of Wednesday morning, Sorensen was leading with 51.7% of the vote, or a 7,500-vote margin:
“From Day 1, we’ve said this campaign was about electing a representative who was known here, who’s from here, and who’s trusted here,” Sorensen said to his supporters early Wednesday in downtown Moline. “I’m going to work every day to represent the people in our communities, proudly.”
The 17th Congressional District includes parts of Bloomington-Normal, Peoria, Rockford and the Quad Cities. President Biden won this territory by 7 points in 2020.
The 17th District was considered a toss-up. It was an open seat, after incumbent Rep. Cheri Bustos decided not to run for re-election after a tighter-than-expected win over King in 2020.
Sorensen, a Rockford native who now lives in the Quad Cities, is a former TV meteorologist vying to be Illinois’ first LGBTQ member of Congress.
King, an attorney and JAG Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, did not address supporters or the media Tuesday night at her watch party in East Moline.