Sen. Dick Durbin gives endorsement to Nikki Budzinski in congressional primary

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U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, endorses Nikki Budzinski in the primary for the 13th District Congressional seat Sunday outside his Springfield, Ill. home.

Democrat Nikki Budzinski of Springfield, a labor activist who worked in President Joe Biden’s administration until earlier this summer, has secured an endorsement from U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Springfield in her run for U.S. Congress in the 13th District.

The announcement came Sunday at Durbin’s Springfield home.

Budzinski, 44, announced in August she planned to challenge U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis of Taylorville for his current 13th District seat. 

"I’m incredibly honored and humbled to have Sen. Durbin standing with me here today," Budzinski said. "I’m running for Congress because I want to deliver for the working people in central and southern Illinois. It’s what I’ve spent my entire career on either in public service or in the labor movement, fighting for issues like paid sick time, raising the minimum wage, making prescription drugs and college more affordable.

"This is the kind of relief coming out of the pandemic that working families need."

Budzinski served as chief of staff in the Office of Management & Budget in the Biden administration. She also is a former advisor to Gov. JB Pritzker.

Durbin, the Senate Majority Whip said he didn’t make it a practice to endorse candidates in the primary, but was making an exception with Budzinski.

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"I know her. I know her family. I know her values, even more importantly," Durbin said in the endorsement. "And I know why she’s doing this. She made the move back to Illinois to make this race for Congress. It was that important to her.

"The issues she’s running on are the issues I care for and the reason I want to be in Washington, D.C. at this moment, to make sure we can help families in this district deal with the cost of living, cost of living for prescription drugs, for health care that may beyond the reach of some families, to make sure we are dealing with issues and programs that help those families deal with everyday challenges.

"She wants to bring jobs to this district and that’s why she supports the bipartisan infrastructure bill just signed last Monday by President Biden."

Budzinski and Davis live in separate congressional districts, though the U.S. Constitution doesn’t require a candidate to live in a certain congressional district to either run for that seat or be elected. The constitution simply requires candidates and officeholders to live in the state where the district is located.

The newly reconfigured 13th, where Budzinski lives, is a more narrow district without an incumbent that links Democratic-leaning areas including Champaign-Urbana and Springfield, as well as East St. Louis and other Metro East communities.

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It also includes Durbin’s old Congressional district where he served for 14 years.

Democrat David Palmer, 35, a Champaign resident who is a Country Financial Insurance broker and financial planner, lives in the 13th District.

Palmer, who is Black, said the new 13th District would include majority Black East St. Louis which would be a boost to his election chances.

Budzinski was earlier endorsed by Sangamon County Democratic Party chair Bill Houlihan, who was at Sunday’s announcement.

Budzinski, a native of Peoria, was joined by her parents, Ron and Cheryl Budzinski, and her niece, Emma Bardelas.

Contact Steven Spearie: 217-622-1788, sspearie@sj-r.com, twitter.com/@StevenSpearie.

via The State Journal-Register

November 22, 2021 at 06:57AM

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