The congressman representing Saline and Gallatin counties, John Shimkus of Collinsville, has announced he is not running for re-election in 2020.
The 61-year-old Republican, who represents Illinois' 15th congressional district, was first elected to the U.S. House in 1996. Even though his seat was formerly held by Dick Durbin, in Shimkus's era the seat has remained reliably Republican.
On Aug. 30, Shimkus released the following statement:
"As Illinois candidates begin to circulate petitions next week, now is the time for me to announce that I will not be seeking re-election.
"It has been the honor of my lifetime to be asked by the people of Illinois to represent them in our nation's capitol. Each day I have tried to do this as best as I possibly could, and my success lies squarely at the feet of my incredible staff in Illinois and Washington DC.
"I will leave the political field knowing that I have served honorably and, with the help of many, accomplished a lot for my constituents, our state, and our nation.
"Serving in Congress has been a blessing, but it has also been a sacrifice for my wife Karen, and our boys. Now young men, David, Joshua and Daniel continue to make me proud. I regret the times I have been away from the four of them and thank them for their constant love and support.
"My family and I thank you for allowing us the honor to serve. Our dedication to our country, our state, our church, and our community will not waiver as we embark on the next chapter of life. God bless you, and God bless America."
Congressional candidates are beginning to pass petitions this week to get on the ballot in the March 2020 Republican and Democratic primaries. The winners of the primaries will face off in the November 2020 general election.