With U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, deciding not to seek re-election for the 15th congressional district seat in U.S. Congress, two women who won in the primary election earlier this year now will be facing off in the Nov. 3 election.

Democrat Erika Weaver of Mattoon is facing Republican candidate Mary Miller of Oakland.

The Commercial-News didn’t receive answers to election questionnaires from either candidate.

The 15th Congressional District, which includes all or part of 33 counties including Vermilion County and stretches across southern and central Illinois, will most likely be eliminated after the 2020 census because its population has been steadily dwindling, according to experts.

U.S. Census Bureau data shows that from 2013 to 2018, the district’s population dropped by about 14,000, to 690,000 — jeopardizing a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives because a congressional district must have roughly 710,000 residents.

Population drops allow lawmakers, particularly those in the majority party of a state, to redraw congressional district maps in a process called redistricting. In Illinois, Democrats dominate both the General Assembly and the governor’s office, empowering them to map the entire state’s congressional districts. Map drawing is slated to begin next year, according to the Associated Press.

The redistricting calculus means the winner will likely serve just one term, according to the Associated Press.

In uncontested local races: Thomas Bennett for Representative in the General Assembly 106th representative district; Dave Stone for Vermilion County Recorder; Erika Briggs for Vermilion County Auditor; Jane McFadden for Vermilion County Coroner; Aaron Hird for Vermilion County Regional Superintendent of Schools (to serve an unexpired two-year term); Joel Bird, Vermilion County Board District 1; Chuck Mockbee III and Kevin Green for Vermilion County Board District 2; Shelley McLain for county board District 3; Crisi Walls for county board District 5; Mary Suprenant and Tom Morse for county board district 6; and Becky Stark (for a full term) and Diana Frazier Brenneman (for an unexpired two-year term) for county board district 9.

Briggs won in the primary. Incumbent auditor Bill Wright didn’t seek reelection.

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