Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner will endorse U.S. Rep. John Shimkus for reelection at a series of events on Monday.
Rauner has already made numerous favorable remarks about Shimkus, a Republican from Collinsville, but tomorrow the representative will officially have the governor’s support, said Steve Tomaszewski with Volunteers for Shimkus.
The pair will make the announcement at six different small events across District 15, which Shimkus currently represents.
“The Congressman plans to speak to the governor’s efforts in Springfield (on reforms and the economy),” Tomaszewski said.
A spokesperson for Rauner’s office couldn’t be reached for comment Sunday afternoon. Neither could someone from the campaign of State Sen. Kyle McCarter, Shimkus’ Republican primary opponent.
McCarter, who announced his candidacy for U.S. Representative in October, has been trying to run on a more conservative platform than Shimkus, whom he accuses of compromising with President Barack Obama.
But Tomaszewski said that he believes Shimkus has been incorrectly portrayed, pointing out that the representative has endorsements from the National Right to Life Committee, the National Rifle Association, the United States Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Farm Bureau.
Tomaszewski wouldn’t divulge the campaign’s internal poll numbers, but he said his candidate was “in good shape.”
Shimkus has had difficult general elections in the past, but this is the first “strong challenge in a primary in some time,” he said.
“Competition is good,” Tomaszewski added. “This will make him a stronger and better congressman.” Shimkus was first elected to Congress in 1996.
His remaining campaign schedule will include a series of smaller events. However, despite the support of metro-east mayors, including Collinsville Mayor John Miller, Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton and Glen Carbon Mayor Rob Jackstadt, Shimkus will not make an appearance in the area before the primary due to schedule constraints.
The Republican primary is on March 15.