Marron photo

Mike Marron

A state representative from the Vermilion County is looking into a run to replace U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville.

Mike Marron, a Republican from Fithian, announced Tuesday he had formed an exploratory committee for a run in the 15th Congressional District, according to a release.

The district covers southeastern Illinois to the Kentucky and Indiana borders.

Shimkus on Friday announced he would not seek re-election in the 2020 election.

“When John decided not to run again, I knew that it would be a huge loss for Southern Illinois, and our country,” Marron said in a news release. “Anyone trying to replace him will have incredibly large shoes to fill. He has a legacy of rolling up his sleeves and getting to work for Southern Illinois in the good times and fighting the liberal Obama and Pelosi policies in the bad times. I want to continue that legacy that reflects Southern Illinois values.”

Marron, who previously served as Vermilion County Board chairman, became a state representative in September of last year. He then won his November 2018 election with nearly 56 percent of the vote.

In his announcement, he cited being opposed to Chicago’s influence over the rest of the state’s politics.

“Now, everyone knows that Springfield politics, especially from the past year, don’t reflect the values of us downstate, rural Illinoisans,” Marron said. “I fought against Springfield Democrats implementing the largest minimum wage increase in this state’s history, the implementation of a massive tax increase being billed as a ‘fair and progressive’ tax, and the most expansive abortion law in the country. Unfortunately, due to Chicago’s influence, all of these things passed despite my opposition.”

Candidates may begin circulating petitions to run in the March 2020 primary on Tuesday. The filing period for the 2020 election is Nov. 25 through Dec. 2.

Marron could be the first of several candidates including several state GOP legislators looking to jump into the race for the heavily Republican district.

The general election is in November 2020. John W. Hursey Jr., a Democrat from Collinsville, had already announced a run before Shimkus stated he was not running.

If somone wants to run in the GOP primary in the 15th district, the Republican would need to gather at least 987 valid voter signatures in the district.

A Democrat or Republican who wants to run for state representative needs to gather between 500 and 1,500 valid signatures.

©2019 the Belleville News-Democrat (Belleville, Ill.)

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