Londrigan, Gaither Win Dem Congressional Nominations

Betsy Dirksen Londrigan for Congress

Betsy Dirksen Londrigan (right) accepts the endorsement of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin in Springfield in November 2017.

Betsy Dirksen Londrigan for Congress

Betsy Dirksen Londrigan of Springfield has won the Democratic nomination for the 13th District Congressional seat currently held by Republican Rodney Davis of Taylorville. 

And in the 15th District, Kevin Gaither of Charleston has won the Democratic nomination for the Congressional seat currently held by Republican John Shimkus of Collinsville.

Londrigan Wins 13th District Democratic Seat

The 13th District covers all or part of 14 different counties across central and southwestern Illinois.

Londrigan defeated four other candidates in the Primary Election: University of Illinois religion professor Jon Ebel of Champaign-Urbana, emergency room doctor David Gill of Bloomington, environmental activist Angel Sides of Springfield, and attorney Erik Jones of Edwardsville. The Associated Press called the race at roughly 10 p.m., when Londrigan had 45 percent of the vote with 85 percent of precincts reporting:

In a statement Tuesday night, Londrigan thanked the other Democrats who ran for the 13th District seat, saying: "Each of them brought important perspectives to the race and I’m looking forward to working with them to beat Rodney Davis in November."

The statement continues: "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.”

This congressional race is Londrigan’s first attempt to win public office.

Londrigan is a development officer with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. She worked as a fundraiser from 2007 to 2009 for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, who announced his endorsement of Londrigan last fall.

Earlier this month, Londrigan shared why she's running for the 13th Congressional District on The 21st Show

Gaither Wins 15th District Democratic Seat

Kevin Gaither of Charleston has defeated Carl Spoerer of Mahomet to win the Democratic nomination for Illinois’ 15th Congressional District.

Gaither won about two-thirds of the votes in the district and said his campaign worked hard to reach out to voters in every community in his district.

“And we’re going to continue to do that throughout the remainder of the time we have until November," said Gaither, a 41-year-old native of Sullivan who owns his own tutoring business. 

Gaither said his main issue this fall is going to be fixing the economy, adding: “We also have to fix healthcare. And obviously, the infrastructure of our entire district is in disrepair.”

Gaither will face off this fall against Republican incumbent John Shimkus to represent a district that spans much of the eastern and southeastern part of the state.

Shimkus was first elected to Congress in 1996 and has enjoyed comfortable wins against Democrats ever since. He ran unopposed in 2016.

Gaither said he believes 2018 could be the year that a Democrat defeats Shimkus.

“What will win this district is somebody who actually speaks the values and principles of the people here," he said.

In February, Gaither spoke with Illinois Public Media about why he's running for the 15th Congressional District:

Follow Christine on Twitter: @CTHerman

Story source: WILL