Pragmatism or protest in 15th?
Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. John Shimkus faces only a Democratic protest candidate in Illinois' new 15th District.
Drawing a new congressional map to ensure that the maximum number of his fellow Democrats win required Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to pack as many Republicans as possible in some districts.
One is the new 15th District, which runs from Collinsville, located near St. Louis, south to Metropolis and north beyond Champaign and Danville. It includes all or parts of 33 counties.
Incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, who's from Collinsville, is opposed by Democrat Angela Michael. Shimkus will almost certainly win.
Michael, a retired nurse, is running to bring what she describes as the horror of abortion to public attention, and, in that sense, she is waging a perfectly legitimate campaign. Her moral outrage over the issue of abortion falls easily within this country's history of protest politics.
However respectable Michael's cause, it does not qualify her to serve in Congress. Indeed, that is not really her goal.
Since he's a guaranteed winner, it's fortunate that Shimkus has done a solid job of representing his constituents in the U.S. House, and The News-Gazette endorses him for re-election. A West Point graduate who holds a master's degree in business administration, Shimkus' conservative brand of politics may not be well suited to the liberal salons included in his massive district, but his views are well within the political mainstream. He will represent it well.