The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

December 24, 2011

Second candidate files in 15th Congressional District

SPRINGFIELD — A second candidate stepped up Friday to run for the expansive 15th Congressional District.

Friday was the first day candidates intent on running for one of the state’s 18 seats in the House of Representatives could file petitions with the Illinois State Board of Elections in Springfield.

Republican John Shimkus of Collinsville had already voiced his decision to run in the 15th Congressional District last month. He followed through with that decision at 8 a.m. Friday, becoming the first and only candidate to file in the 15th District.

By mid-morning, Democrat Angela Michael of Highland also had filed the appropriate election petitions to run for the seat in the House of Representatives.

Michael is a retired nurse. She announced her intent to run in July. She has considered herself an activist for pre-born babies and their mothers for more than 20 years.

Shimkus — who currently serves as congressman for the 19th District — faces a lot of new area in running for the 15th District. He has estimated as much as 40 percent of the district is new for him.

Vermilion County represents the northernmost point of the district, which then extends south to the state’s border with Kentucky and then west along a jagged line that ends with Shimkus’ hometown of Collinsville, which is 203 miles from Danville.

The first day of filings for the congressional seats comes after filings for county and state offices in Illinois.

The delay was as a result of a federal lawsuit filed against the state redistricting plan approved during the summer. A three-panel judge called for the postponement of federal petition filings until Friday as it considered the arguments in the case.

The panel dismissed the case earlier this week, allowing candidates to begin the process.

According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, candidates can file until Tuesday, although the office is closed Saturday through Monday for the Christmas holiday.

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