Sen. Dick Durbin Whips Up Campus Support For Londrigan
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois joined Democratic congressional candidate Betsy Dirksen Londrigan for a visit to the University of Illinois campus on Friday morning. Speaking to students on the Quad outside of the Illini Union building, Durbin and Londrigan emphasized the importance of voting in the upcoming midterm election on Nov. 6.
"Promise me that you will bug at least two more fellow students to get out and vote," Durbin, the Senate Minority Whip, told a crowd gathered on the sidewalk. "That's why I am here."
He also expressed his support for Londrigan, who is running in Illinois' 13th Congressional District to unseat Republican incumbent Rodney Davis.
Londrigan, who is running for political office for the first time, has made health care affordability a centerpiece of her campaign. She stayed on that message when asked by Illinois Public Media what her final pitch to voters would be.
“I’m here to stand up to protect health care, to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from being cut," Londrigan said. She added that addressing student debt would also be a priority. "To help students get an education that doesn’t leave them with a debt that they spend years paying off," Londrigan said. "And to bring good jobs back to the district.”
The race between Londrigran and incumbent Rodney Davis is a tight one, with Davis having a slight advantage according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.
"We know we've got the numbers, we've got the momentum," Londrigan told students on the U of I Quad. "We just have to make sure that everyone votes."
More than 800,000 people have voted early in the 2018 election according to the Illinois State Board of Elections. That's an increase from early voting numbers in 2014. Durbin said he views those numbers as an encouraging sign.
"So we came to the campus, said to the students, 'This is your world, you get a chance to make it,' and we had a great turnout here today," Durbin said.