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Kelly, Bost to face off in general election for US House seat

Republican candidates Preston Nelson and incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, and Democratic candidates St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly and David Bequette. All four candidates are running in the 12th congressional district primary March 20. The winners from each party will face off in the Nov. 6 general election.
Republican candidates Preston Nelson and incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, and Democratic candidates St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly and David Bequette. All four candidates are running in the 12th congressional district primary March 20. The winners from each party will face off in the Nov. 6 general election. Provided

Current St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly will be facing incumbent Rep. Mike Bost in the general election for the 12th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Republican Bost received about 31,000 votes, and his opponent Preston Nelson earned just more than 6,000. In the Democratic race, Kelly earned about 39,000 votes, beating David Bequette's 9,000 votes. Kelly especially saw victory in his home county, St. Clair County, receiving more than 80 percent of the Democratic vote.

Bost commended Republican Preston Nelson, his opponent in the primary race, on his willingness to get involved and run.

“I appealed to the Republican party to ask for their support, and it looks like I got it,” Bost said Tuesday night. “We need to keep moving forward and we’ve got to make sure we make America great for our kids and grandkids.”

Kelly said he thinks his victory in the primary against Bequette came from focusing on the needs of Southern Illinois.

“Today in America, a handful of folks are doing really well, but the middle of the country has been hollowed out,” Kelly said. “We can't let any more life-long politicians or the powerful few ignore our needs in Southern Illinois … It’s time to show some courage, to step away from the same old arguments and party lines.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee said Kelly has been using his status as state's attorney to "prop up his campaign."

“Unfortunately for him, Brendan Kelly’s professional record is public, and it speaks for itself," said NRCC spokeswoman Maddie Anderson. "We will ensure that voters are extremely aware of the stark contrast between him and Mike Bost, who is a true public servant for the people of his district."

For the Democratic primary in the 13th congressional district, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan earned the most votes of the five candidates, with more than 20,000. The second-closest candidate, Erik Jones, got about 10,000 votes. Londrigan will face incumbent Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, in the general election.

““It has been a joy to have spent the past nine months and 28,000 miles connecting with voters and being welcomed into their homes to talk about the issues they care about, and I’m excited that the journey continues tomorrow,” Dirksen Londrigan said in a statement Tuesday night. “This district deserves a representative who is responsive to our needs and advocates for our priorities by putting our community ahead of Washington politics and special interests.”

Jones, who got the second-highest amount of votes, said the fight must continue to defeat incumbent Republican Rodney Davis in the fall.

“I got into this race because the deck is stacked against working families right now,” Jones said. “Tonight, I’m asking my supporters keep up the fight and remain focused on defeating Rodney Davis this fall — It’s the only way to finally make Illinois families a priority again in Washington.”

Democrat Kevin Gaither won the primary in the 15th congressional district against Carl Spoerer. Gaither will run against incumbent Republican John Shimkus in November’s general election.

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