Duckworth endorses Budzinski for Central Illinois congressional seat

In this May 6, 2020, file photo, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. 


Nikki Budzinski, a Democratic candidate for Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, secured the endorsement of Sen. Tammy Duckworth Monday, further solidifying her standing as the frontrunner in the race.

A former top official in President Joe Biden and Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administrations, Budzinski now has the support of both Illinois’ senators, five members of the state’s U.S. House delegation, several state and local officials and a long list of labor unions. 

“I’m endorsing Nikki because, especially at a time like this, she is exactly the kind of leader that we need in Congress,” Duckworth said in a statement. “As a longtime member of the labor movement, she knows what it means to support working families, and as someone who dedicated her career to public service, she knows how to get things done.” 

Budzinski, a Peoria native, moved to Springfield this summer and announced her campaign in August. Before that, she was chief of staff for the Office of Management and Budget in the Biden Administration. She was also a senior advisor to Pritzker and a labor activist for 10 years. 

Nikki Budzinski is shown in a campaign video.

Her move back comes at a convenient time as state legislative Democrats, in control of the once-a-decade redistricting process, earlier this year drew a district that Biden won by 11 points in 2020, giving the party perhaps its best shot in years to retake a Central Illinois-based district.

The string bean-shaped district stretches from the Metro East region near St. Louis to Champaign-Urbana, picking up the urban cores Springfield and Decatur in between. It is largely urban in character, but also includes all of Macoupin County and some other rural areas in Central Illinois.

Challenging Budzinski for the Democratic nomination is David Palmer, a financial consultant from Champaign. No Republicans have announced thus far. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, who currently represents the district, is running in an adjacent district. 

Beyond Duckworth, Budzinski has the support of Sen. Dick Durbin and Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline; Sean Casten, D-Downers Grove; Bill Foster, D-Naperville; Chuy Garcia, D-Chicago; and Jan Schakowsky, D-Evanston. 

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December 20, 2021 at 09:02AM

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