Betsy Dirksen Londrigan emerged victorious Tuesday in a five-way Democratic primary for the 13th Congressional District, setting up a general election matchup against U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis in November.
Londrigan won with 45.7 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting. She fought off four fellow Democrats, including Erik Jones of Edwardsville, Jonathan Ebel of Urbana, David Gill of Bloomington, and Angel Sides of Springfield.
Londrigan lives in Springfield and is a professional fundraiser who's raised money for U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who has endorsed her. She was endorsed by other Democratic heavy-hitters, including New York senator and potential presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, and the United Steelworkers union.
“It has been a joy to have spent the past 9 months and 28,000 miles connecting with voters and being welcomed into their homes to talk about the issues they care about, and I’m excited that the journey continues tomorrow," Londrigan said. "I want to thank the other Democrats who stepped up to run. Each of them brought important perspectives to the race and I’m looking forward to working with them to beat Rodney Davis in November.
"Now it’s time to shift the focus to Rodney Davis and hold him accountable for voting to make Central Illinois families pay more for less with their health care," she added. "This district deserves a representative who is responsive to our needs and advocates for our priorities by putting our community ahead of Washington politics and special interests. I am dedicated to the fight for affordable accessible health care, creating good paying jobs, and crafting solutions that work for our students, and this November we take that fight to the ballot box.”
Gill conceded around 9:30 p.m. Jones did the same just before 10 p.m.
“I got into this race because the deck is stacked against working families right now," Jones said in a statement. "And while I will not be going to the general election, this fight must continue. There is simply too much at stake for Illinois families. I am honored and humbled by the support I received and the enthusiasm I was shown on the campaign trail. Tonight, I’m asking my supporters keep up the fight and remain focused on defeating Rodney Davis this fall. It’s the only way to finally make Illinois families a priority again in Washington.”
Gill has run for—and come up short—in the 13th District or its pre-redistricting predecessor six different times.
"I think it's too soon to say what I might do in the future, if anything," Gill said Tuesday night.
Gill said he called Londrigan to congratulate her on the victory.
"I think (Londrigan) has a sound message that appeals to people who have been getting the short end of the stick from our government for a long period of time," Gill said. "I don't know if she needs to do anything different ... I think she's done a very good job. I tip my cap to her."
The gerrymandered, sprawling 13th District includes parts or all of 14 counties, stretching from the western half of Bloomington-Normal all the way south to Edwardsville.
Davis has held the seat since 2013, but he’s seen as potentially vulnerable in a district drawn by Democrats specifically to give Democrats a shot.
“Elizabeth Warren acolyte and D.C. insider Betsy Dirksen Londrigan couldn’t be further out of touch with the district," said Maddie Anderson, spokesperson for the National Republican Congressional Committee. "Repeatedly touting her Dick Durbin and Emily's List endorsements tells voters everything they need to know about her – she does not share their values. We look forward to watching Rodney Davis soundly defeat Londrigan in November.”
18th Congressional District
In the 18th District, which also includes parts of Bloomington-Normal, Republican incumbent Rep. Darin LaHood cruised to victory against GOP challenger Donald Rients with 78.8 percent of the vote.
Democrat Junius Rodriguez narrowly won (by just 811 votes) over Brian Deters, with all 776 precincts reporting. Darrel Miller trailed in that three-way Democratic primary.
"I just made a call to Junius Rodriguez and congratulated him on his hard-fought win," Deters posted on Facebook just before 11 p.m. "I also gave him my complete support as he takes on Darin LaHood in November. Thanks to all those who helped our campaign these past 5-plus months."
LaHood beat Rodriguez with 72.1 percent of the vote in the 2016 election.
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