State Sen. Sue Rezin made it official. She's running for Congress in the 14th District.
The senator, whose state district includes Ottawa and Streator, filed the required statement of organization and declaration of candidacy Tuesday with the Federal Elections Commission to run for a congressional seat in the 14th District in 2020.
Rezin, R-Morris, will remain a state senator during her campaign, she said.
"I'm in the middle of a four-year term," she said. "I plan on working diligently in my district, as I was Tuesday in Newark, to make sure the 38th District is well represented."
In the 2018 midterm election, Naperville Democrat Lauren Underwood, a health care policy expert who worked on the Affordable Care Act as a part of the Obama administration, defeated Randy Hultgren, R-Plano, regaining a seat for Democrats that Hultgren held since 2011.
Rezin believes the 14th District is conservative at heart, and one the GOP shouldn't have lost. She said she wants to bring middle class values to Washington.
"I'm excited, I've been doing my research and preparing for a couple of months," she said in a phone interview Tuesday.
Although Rezin is a resident of Illinois’ 16th District — a seat held by Congressman Adam Kinzinger — she has said she lives five minutes outside of the boundary lines and her state district includes much of the 14th District, giving her familiarity with it.
There is no residency requirement to live within the district, and Rezin said she would consider moving into the 14th District if she were elected, but she also expects some changes to boundary lines when Congressional districts are redrawn in 2020.
Rezin’s campaign for Congress will begin organizing and raising funds immediately, according to a press release issued Tuesday. A formal announcement of candidacy event will be held in the months to come, she said.
Rezin was elected to the state House of Representatives in November 2010 when she defeated State Rep. Careen Gordon, and then replaced Sen. Gary Dahl in the 38th Senate District by appointment in December 2010. Rezin defeated Ottawa Democrat Christine Benson, who is the sister of Chicago Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley, twice, before receiving 59% of the vote against Heidi Henry, D-Marseilles, in November. Rezin is assistant Republican leader in the Senate.
"My background makes me comfortable, I've run in three top tier races and won," Rezin said. "I have a track record for running campaigns."
Rezin will face a number of challengers in the Republican primary.
James Marter, R-Oswego, recently announced he is running for the nomination. Also entering the GOP race are state Sen. Jim Oberweis, Sugar Grove; Anthony Catella, of St. Charles; Ted Gradel, of Naperville; and Danny Malouf, of Crystal Lake. State Rep. Allen Skillicorn has said he is considering a 2020 run.
"I welcome the primary," she said. "It's an opportunity to talk about priorities for the general election."
Underwood said in a press release Monday her campaign has raised more than $1 million gearing up for the 2020 race, including more than $700,000 this quarter.