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State of the State is about the effectiveness and culture of Illinois government. Written by Brian Mackey, the blog focuses on key areas of news important to Illinois such as criminal justice and labor.

LaHood, Son of Congressman, To Run 'On My Own Name'

Darin LaHood
Illinois General Assembly

The State of the State Blog looks at the effectiveness and culture of Illinois government.

The day after Congressman Aaron Schock announced his surprise resignation, politicians were moving quickly to replace him. State Sen. Darin LaHood, a Republican from Dunlap, says he’s already filed paperwork to open a federal campaign fundraising account.

In an era in which the 2016 presidential race could feature a Clinton-Bush matchup (!), why not have another LaHood running to represent Peoria in Congress?

LaHood, 46, is the son of former U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, who was also transportation secretary in the Obama administration (and no darling of the right).

Political dynasties are common in Illinois, and it's not people at the level of the Chicago Mayors Daley and House Speaker Michael Madigan and his daughter Attorney General Losa Madigan. Plenty of lower-profile politicians are in the family business: Reps. Frank Mautino and Arthur Turner, and Sen. Emil Jones III are all the children of former lawmakers.

The younger LaHood, however, says he'll stand on his own record, which includes stints as a local prosecutor in Illinois and as a federal prosecutor in Las Vegas.

"You have disagreements with people in your family in politics, like most people do," LaHood says. "And I have some with my own family. But I’m going to rely on my ability, the job that I’ve done, what constituents have sent me back to Springfield to do, on my own name and my own merit, and on the substance of my work."

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he’ll soon set the date of a special election. By law, both the primary and general election have to be within four months of the resignation, which Schock said would be effective March 31.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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