U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) announced Thursday night that he will run for re-election in Illinois’ newly-drawn 8th Congressional district in the western suburbs.
The state’s congressional boundaries have changed since new census data was released last year. But Republicans have sued the Illinois Board of Elections over the new boundaries, saying they heavily favor Democrats.
Walsh, a Republican with Tea Party support, currently lives in the newly-drawn 14th Congressional district. If he had run in that district, Walsh would have faced a tough primary opponent against fellow freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren.
“It didn’t just feel right to me to stay out in the 14th (District) in a nice, safe Republican district, take out another Republican in a primary, when the Democrats have drawn an 8th District, my old district – my current district – a new 8th District and reconfigured it to be very Democratic and we Republicans are just going to let that seat go,” Walsh said Thursday night. “It didn’t feel right.”
Walsh made the announcement to Cook County Tea Party supporters at a bar near Wrigley Field. The Chicago ballpark lies outside the 8th Congressional District.
Walsh still needs to win the Republican primary, which occurs March 20.
If he wins, Walsh could face a Democratic opponent, possibly Tammy Duckworth, Raja Krishnamoorthi or another candidate who has not yet filed.