Democrat Nikki Budzinski defeated Republican Regan Deering in Illinois' 13th Congressional District.
The 13th District is located in the south-central region of the state.
Budzinski successfully flipped the redrawn district and picked up a seat in Washington.
Democrat Nikki Budzinski defeated Republican Regan Deering in Illinois' 13th Congressional District. Republican Rep. Rodney Davis, who currently represents the 13th District, was drawn out when the district was newly reconfigured, leaving the seat vacant.
Polls closed in the state at 7 p.m. local time, or 8 p.m. EST.
Davis ran in and lost the GOP primary in Illinois' 15th Congressional District.
Illinois' 13th Congressional District candidates
Budzinski, who is running for Congress the first time, has previous experience in Washington. She recently served as chief of staff at the Office of Management and Budget within the Biden administration and previously interned for former US Sen. Paul Simon and former Rep. Dick Gephardt.
Prior to her role in the Biden administration, the Democrat from Springfield served as Gov. J.B. Pritzker's senior advisor on labor issues and successfully led the charge to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour.
A longtime political operative, Budzinski, 45, also served as the labor outreach director for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.
Budzinski has listed addressing climate change as one of her top issues on her campaign website.
Deering, Budzinski's opponent, is also seeking political office for the first time. Before entering politics, Deering worked as a science teacher and small business owner.
The 46-year-old Republican served as the capital campaign chair for the Northeast Community Fund and as chair of the Decatur Public School Foundation. She also served as the president of the Decatur Public Schools Foundation.
Deering is a strong supporter of gun rights, as listed on her campaign website. She also advocates for farmers: agriculture is one of downstate Illinois' biggest industries.
Deering defeated her opponents in the four-way GOP primary, narrowly defeating second-place finisher Jesse Reising by less than 1,000 votes.
Voting history for Illinois' 13th Congressional District
Illinois' 13th Congressional District spans from Metro East St. Louis to parts of Springfield, Decatur, and Champaign-Urbana.
President Donald Trump had a 3.5 percentage point margin of victory over Joe Biden under the district's previous boundaries in 2020. The district's partisan lean, however, shifted from Republican to Democratic in the decennial redistricting process, during which several conservative rural communities were excised and the most urban, liberal sections of the Metro East region were consolidated into one district.
The money race
According to OpenSecrets, Budzinski has raised $3.6 million, spent more than $2.7 million, and has $839,000 million on hand, as of October 19. Her opponent, Deering, has raised almost $2 million, spent more than $1.7 million, and has $238,000 cash on hand, as of October 19.
As of late October, more than 10 super PACs, national party committees, politically active nonprofits, and other non-candidate groups have together spent more than $3 million to advocate for or against candidates in this race, including during the race's primary phase. House Majority PAC, a pro-Budzinski super PAC led by national Democrats, alone accounts for about half that spending.
What experts say
The race between Budzinski and Deering is rated as "lean Democratic" by Inside Elections, "lean Democratic" by The Cook Political Report, and "leans Democratic" by Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
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