With Shimkus Retiring, Marron Explores Possible Run For Congress

State Representative Mike Marron.

State Representative Mike Marron testifies in March at a public hearing of the Illinois EPA on a Dynegy plan to stabilize the Middle Fork Riverbank near its coal ash ponds at the Vermilion Power Station

Jack Brighton/Illinois Public Media

State Representative Mike Marron says he’s formed an exploratory committee for a possible run to succeed U.S. Rep. John Shimkus in Congress.

Marron, a farmer from Fithian, says he’s interested in running for the 15th District U.S. House seat held by Shimkus. The Republican from Collinsville announced Friday he won’t be running again.

Marron held a news conference in Danville Monday to make the announcement. In a news release, he said he wants to continue Shimkus’ “legacy that reflects Southern Illinois values”. That legacy, said Marron, is one of “rolling up his sleeves and getting to work for Southern Illinois in the good times and fighting the liberal Obama and Pelosi policies in the bad times.”

Marron says as part of the Republican super-minority caucus in Springfield, he fought against a minimum wage increase, an expansive abortion law and the proposed graduated state income tax amendment. But Marron also cites his support of a bipartisan bill to regulate coal ash pollution in cases like that of the old Vermilion Power Station near the Middle Fork River in his Illinois House district. Marron signed on as an Alternate Chief Co-Sponsor in the House of the Coal Ash Pollution Prevention Act (SB 9), after his own resolution to create a Coal Ash task force languished in committee. The Coal Ash Pollution Prevention Act was signed by Gov. JB Pritzker on July 30.

Before becoming a legislator in 2018, Marron was a township supervisor, and served on the Vermilion County Board, including a stint as chairman. A campaign news release credits Marron with “success in getting a strong consensus on a partisan county board”.

Marron is the first Republican to confirm his interest in Shimkus’s seat in Congress. Illinois’ 15th District is considered a safe Republican district, but will be subject to redistricting after the 2020 election. One Democrat, John Hursey, Jr. of Collinsville, says he’s already filed paperwork to run.

Other possible candidates include 2016 Democratic candidate Kevin Gaither of Charleston (who said on Friday that he would announce his plans after the Labor Day weekend), and Republican State Senator Jason Plummer of Edwardsville.

Story source: WILL