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Watch now: What do the proposed Illinois Congressional maps look like?
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Watch now: What do the proposed Illinois Congressional maps look like?

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Rodney Davis 1 090121.JPG

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, speaks to those gathered Sept. 1 for the Biofuels Policy Summit at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur. 

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers released the first draft of new congressional maps Friday, the latest step in a process that occurs every 10 years after the U.S. Census and could impact the balance of power in the U.S. Congress.

The new maps are only a draft and will be subject to legislative changes as lawmakers return to the Capitol next week for their fall veto session. The congressional maps will be one of the top agenda items as lawmakers return.

The new draft maps include 17 congressional districts, down from the current 18 due to the state’s population loss recorded in the 2020 census.

Several of the districts wind through various parts of the state on thin strips of land. That includes the 13th District, which runs from Champaign to the north to Belleville in the south, making its way westward and including several downstate population centers along the way.

That’s the district currently represented by Republican Congressman Rodney Davis, who has expressed an interest in running for governor and has said the decision would depend on how Illinois Democrats would choose to draw his current district.

Davis’ hometown of Taylorville is instead included in the redrawn 15th District, which is one of the largest districts landwise, going from Freeport in the north to Vandalia in the south, an approximately 275-mile drive. It includes a big chunk of several counties south of Springfield, runs up the eastern part of the state, and grabs land from several central Illinois counties on its way up to Stephenson County near the state’s northern border.

Illinois is an important state for Democrats nationally as they look to maintain control of the U.S. House in the 2022 mid-term elections. Currently Democrats have a 224-214 advantage in the chamber. The state’s primary elections are scheduled for June 28.

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