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IL13th Congressional District candidates both expect victory

Left to right: 13th congressional district candidates Nikki Budzinski (D) and Regan Deering (R) during TV primary debates in June 2022.

URBANA- Both candidates in Illinois’ redrawn 13th congressional district say their messages are connecting with voters.  Republican Regan Deering and Democratic candidate Nikki Budzinski both expect victory in Tuesday’s election.

Deering says her team spent the last week visiting all the counties in the district. The former educator says cutting crime will be one of her focuses.

“You know a lot of my district, especially over in Champaign, we’ve spent a lot of time over there, is seeing that high level of crime,” said Deering. “And we just need politicians that are going to continue to advocate for pro-police policy. We got to make sure that our criminals are held accountable.”

On Monday, Budzinski stumped for votes at her alma mater, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 

“I think people are hungry for change and that would be a Democratic representative in this area for the first time in a long time,” said Budzinski.

Republican Rodney Davis represented the 13th district for 5 terms before Democratic state lawmakers redrew the district to include East St. Louis. He ran in the 15th congressional district but lost his primary to fellow Republican incumbent Mary Miller.

Budzinski is a former labor organizer who worked in the administrations of Governor JB Pritzker (D-IL) and President Joe Biden (D). She says she wants to work with fellow Democrats to cut prescription drug prices.

“We should be able to go back and say that insulin should be capped not just for seniors but for young people that are struggling with diabetes,” said Budzinski. “And that brings down the costs of healthcare in general and helps people keep more of what they earn. And that’s the kind of middle class relief that I’m talking about.”

The former labor organizer is endorsed by the state AFL-CIO and Illinois Federation of Teachers. 

Deering is endorsed by the Illinois Farm Bureau’s political action committee. She says her message resonates with voters.

“I think voters are ready for someone that has had real world experience and is going to take common sense and conservative values here in Central and Southern Illinois to Washington, DC.”

After the polls close Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., get up to the minute results on our website, IllinoisNewsroom.org.

Listen for updates on AM 580 and FM 90.9 at 7:15, 8:15, 9:15, 10:15 p.m., and 11:15 p.m. during NPR special coverage.

Or watch for updates on WILL-TV at 7:57, 8:57, 9:57, and 10:57 p.m. during PBS special coverage.

Illinois Public Media reporter Harrison Malkin contributed to this article.

Picture of Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick is the News & Public Affairs Director at Illinois Public Media. He oversees daily newscasts and online stories. He also manages The 21st Show, a live, weekday talk show that airs on 7 NPR stations throughout Illinois. He is the executive producer of IPM's annual environmental TV special "State of Change." And he is the co-creator of Illinois Soul, IPM's Black-focused audio service that launched in February 2024. Before arriving at IPM in 2019, he served as News Director at WKAR in East Lansing and spent 17 years as a TV news producer and manager at KXAS, the NBC-owned station in Dallas/Fort Worth. Reginald is the recipient of three Edward R. Murrow regional awards, seven regional Emmy awards, and multiple honors from the National Association of Black Journalists. Born in Vietnam, Reginald grew up in Colorado and is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. Email: rh14@illinois.edu Twitter: @RNewsWILL

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