A Eureka College history professor who was handily defeated by incumbent U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood in 2016 is planning another run next year as a Democrat in the 18th Congressional District.
Junius Rodriguez announced his plans to run late Monday, with a campaign announcement set for 2 p.m. Wednesday on the south lawn of the McLean County Arts Center in Bloomington. Rodriguez appears to be the first Democrat to announce a 2018 challenge to LaHood.
LaHood trounced Rodriguez in 2016, posting a 72.1 percent to 27.9 percent victory. Rodriguez appears to be focusing on “economic revitalization” this time around.
“For several decades now we have witnessed the steady erosion of the middle class in American society, and this has been met only by unfulfilled promises of concern and relief, but little has materialized,” Rodriguez said in a statement Monday.
“Here in West Central Illinois the crops that we grow, the products that we build, and the services that we provide are all connected in one way or another to the global economy,” he added. “Delivering these goods requires the commitment of a nation recognizing the necessities of twenty-first century enterprise, not one resting on the laurels of past achievements. American leadership and ingenuity must guide this strategic innovation.”
The 18th Congressional District wraps around and includes parts of Bloomington-Normal, then stretches west all the way to the Missouri and Iowa borders.
LaHood has held the seat since 2015. The primary election is in March 2018, followed by the general election in November.
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