Democrats start pushing congressional map

SPRINGFIELD — A new congressional political map that would bring more representation to the suburbs and could make it difficult for some incumbent Republicans to keep their seats is moving in Springfield.

An Illinois House panel’s approval Sunday sets up Democrats to push the plan through Monday or Tuesday despite loud Republican objections. They voted 6-4, along party lines.

Political boundaries are redrawn every 10 years to reflect population changes, and because Democrats control all levels of state government, they got to draw the map how they wanted without Republican input.

The proposed map could force GOP Reps. Randy Hultgren of Winfield and Joe Walsh of McHenry to run against each other in a primary election. It also could pit freshman GOP Rep. Bob Dold of Kenilworth against Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston in a district that could favor Democrats.

Republicans don’t likely have much chance of stopping Democrats approving the map in Springfield, but the GOP is likely eyeing a lawsuit afterward.

“I think we all know that’s a possibility,” Rep. Jim Durkin, a Western Springs Republican, said at the hearing. “I see some lawyers here that are smiling.

Randall Hultgren