Springfield — It’s the district that Lincoln once held in Congress, and 2018 brings a rematch for the two men who ran in 2016 for the seat that opened suddenly after Aaron Schock resigned.
Two years ago, the race was won by Darin LaHood. His father Ray had held the seat for many years, before retiring, and then was asked by President Obama to serve as US Transportation Secretary. So Darin LaHood grew up around politics and has served both as a prosecutor, and as a state senator.
Junius Rodriguez is a professor of history, and argues that LaHood is out of touch with the district.
While President Trump lost the state two years ago, the 18th District, which includes Peoria, is historically a Republican seat. And because the LaHood name was long known in the district, this race is considered an uphill battle for any Democrat.
Yet Rodriguez is hoping the off-year election, when a Democrat is leading in the governor’s race, will help him gather enough support from Democrats and independents who didn’t turn out two years ago.