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Schock Resignation Will Trigger Special Election in Illinois

Sinema, left, is an Arizona Democrat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Sinema, left, is an Arizona Democrat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A forthcoming special election to replace resigning Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock is unlikely to alter the partisan control of his Peoria-based 18th District.  

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner must call a special within five days after Schock’s resignation becomes official on March 31, according to state law, and must be held no later than 115 days from the call. Rauner has leeway to decide the dates of the election within that time frame. In the last House special in Illinois, to replace Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr., the congressman resigned Nov. 21, 2012, the primaries were held three months later on Feb. 26 and Democrat Robin Kelly won the seat on April 9.  

GOP state Sen. Darin LaHood is mentioned as a likely contender to succeed Schock. LaHood is the son of former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who represented the district from 1995 until 2009, when he left to take the cabinet position in Obama’s administration.  

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In 2008, Schock won the primary to replace LaHood with 71 percent of the vote and the general with 59 percent. The district was redrawn by Democratic legislators after the 2010 census to make it more Republican, and Mitt Romney carried it in 2012 with 61 percent of the vote.  

The special election for Schock’s seat will likely be the third special to take place this year.  

Former Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y., resigned in January after pleading guilty to tax fraud, creating a vacancy in his Staten Island-based 11th District. Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-Miss., died in February after a short battle with brain cancer.  

Kyle Trygstad contributed to this report.

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