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Londrigan Enters Growing Democratic Field In 13th Congressional District

Betsy Dirksen Londrigan
Springfield native Betsy Dirksen Londrigan has announced a run for Congress in the 14th District as a Democrat.

There is another entry into the Democratic race for Congress in the 13th District.

Betsy Dirksen Londrigan of Springfield said she wants to make people's lives better. She said right now they are scared of losing jobs, scared of losing insurance, and just generally scared.

Londrigan has never run for office before. She told GLT her personal history prompted her to run.

"The healthcare protections that we have in place right now have meant everything to my family. My oldest son Jack got Rocky Mountain spotted fever back in 2009 from a tick bite. It sent us on a medical journey that nobody wants to go on. He was in pediatric intensive care for 21 days. The medical bills were astronomical, surgeries and physical therapy. Our lives would look entirely different if we didn't have insurance," said Londrigan.

She said she wants to help protect people from being faced with losing a home from catastrophic medical bills.

Londrigan declined to say whether she supports a single-payer healthcare system.

"I want us to fix what we have. And moving forward with any future plans I want to know the economic impact on our district," said Londrigan.

She said with seven universities in the 13th Congressional District, education is also of primary importance to her run for office. The 13th District includes parts of Bloomington-Normal and much of Central Illinois.

"Healthcare and education make up 30 percent of the jobs in the district," said Londrigan.

Londrigan also said the Second Amendment needs to be protected, though guns should be kept out of the hands of those who should not have them.

She is distantly related to the late Republican Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen of Illinois.

Londrigan has been a fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.

The potential field includes:

  • Repeat candidate Dr. David Gill of Bloomington
  • State Rep. Carol Ammons of Urbana
  • Jonathan Ebel from the Department of Religion at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Ben Goetten, the state's attorney in Jersey County
  • Ben Webb, an English and Theater teacher at University High School in Normal
GLT's Charlie Schlenker talks with Betsy Dirksen Londrigan about her political aspirations.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.