Illinois’ new congressional map will stand as-is. A three-judge federal panel, including two Republicans from Indiana, ruled against Republicans who challenged the new congressional map. Republicans complained the map was drawn for political purposes, and one local Republican said the map didn’t make any sense.
U.S. Congressman John Shimkus said the map cuts the city of Collinsville, his hometown, into three districts. The new district he will run in, the 15th, shifts to the east and stretches from Collinsville south to the Ohio River and north to near Champaign. Republican Congressman Tim Johnson is one candidate running in the newly created 13 district that covers part of the River Bend, Calhoun and Jersey Counties, north to Springfield and his hometown of Urbana. The 12th District, currently represented by Jerry Costello, remains mostly unchanged. The judges dismissed Republican claims that the map doesn’t create a second Latino-majority district, saying that, based on the evidence, the districts were drawn for political purposes, not racial purposes, and that the map the Republicans offered also didn’t create two majority-Latino districts. The judges agreed that the map is a “blatant political move to increase the number of Democratic congressional seats,” but that it isn’t illegal. Republicans are evaluating whether they have any basis for an appeal. Candidates can start filing for Congress on Dec. 23.