Control of Congress will be up for grabs 12 days from now.
New congressional districts in Illinois create some different and interesting matchups.
When Illinois lawmakers re-drew the state’s congressional district, they wound the 16th District from Bloomington in the south all the way to the border with Wisconsin and Iowa in Jo Daviess County.
Current 18th District Congressman Darin LaHood is a Republican drawn into that district by living in a small sliver of Peoria.
“If I’m fortunate enough to win in this district, I’ll represent 750,000 people across 21 counties but I won’t have a town over 15-20,000.”
His Democratic opponent Lisa Haderlein knows about smaller towns.
“It’s kind of interesting because I’m in Harvard and I’m on the city council there and that’s a town of 9,400,” Haderlein said.
Agriculture is a big part of this district.
“Corporate control of agriculture where you have individual landowners that become very big owners of land — whether that’s Bill Gates or the Mormon Church or China or real estate investment trust — I’m concerned about anytime there’s concentration of power and control,” Haderlein said.
“The farm bill is coming up again,” LaHood said. “This is the second time I’ve dealt with so you know my district now is a fairly rural distict already a lot of small and medium towns we’ve had a strong record for rural America.”
Walk into any grocery store, any car lot or gas station and you can see the effects of inflation — something both want to address.
“I think we’ve got to get back to energy independence,” LaHood said. “We were a next exporter in the United States on energy out of this country. At the end of the Trump administration, gas was at $2 a gallon.”
“I think we’ve done more than enough increasing interest rates,” Haderlein said. “I personally favor doing more to bring key manufacturing of things like the CHIPS Act giving incentives for more manufacturing.”
LaHood says the government spends too much, but he does back a bill that would spend $15 billion to help state and local governments hire and retain police officers.
“Can’t be defunding police,” LaHood said. “We’ve got to support our police officers. I’ve talked a lot about that. That’s another issue that’s important.”
Haderlein prefers a different approach.
“I’m really encouraged in McHenry County — and I think this is happening in more places — that they’re investing in police social workers.”
Haderlein says she got in the race to protect a woman’s right to an abortion. LaHood applauded the ruling that overturned Roe vs Wade and has been anti-abortion.