John Shimkus

Democrat Tammy Duckworth, left, will fact Republican incumbent Mark Kirk for the U.S. Senate in Illinois.
Official photos

The area races in the Illinois primary election Tuesday saw the favorites and incumbents winning handily. While unsurprising, Tuesday’s election results did set up competitive races for both the U.S. Senate and at least one state Senate in southern Illinois.

Southern Illinois' congressional districts 2016
Wikipedia

On March 15, Illinois residents will find more on their ballots that presidential candidates. Voters will also elect the candidates for its November general election.

Here's an outline of some of the major races in the area. 

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio's Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum welcome back U.S. Rep. John Shimkus to the show to get a first-hand account of the recent turbulence in Congress.

U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin
Official photo

The House Republican Conference is scheduled to select its candidate for speaker Thursday to replace John Boehner, who’s leaving Congress at the end of the month. The rifts in the Republican Party that led to Boehner's departure are reflected in the thinking of House Republicans from Missouri and Illinois.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, says he’s definitely running for re-election next year – a decision that isn’t a surprise.

Shimkus, 57, has been in office since 1997, and through two redistrictings that changed his turf’s boundaries – and its number. He currently represents the 15th District.

What needs to change about STEM education in the United States?
Dominick | Flickr

The U.S. House Tuesday night gave overwhelming approval to legislation changing the way the Environmental Protection Agency reviews and evaluates potentially toxic and dangerous chemicals used in commerce. On a vote of 398 to 1, the House supported the measure, HR 2576, sponsored by Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville.

The Toxic Substances Control Act, written in 1976, is seen as a failure by many business and environmental organizations that, along with members of Congress, say it has built-in weaknesses and unnecessary complexities that prevent the EPA from doing its job.

Alex Heuer

Representative John Shimkus, a Republican who represents Illinois' 15th Congressional District, joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh to discuss some of the issues he’s dealing with as a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and other matters in Washington. Shimkus represents a large portion of the Metro East as well as parts of eastern and southeastern Illinois.

Wikipedia

(Updated 1:30 p.m., Wed., Jan. 20 with remarks from U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.)

President Barack Obama ended his State of the Union address with a sweeping call for "better," less divisive politics, but the reaction to the speech fell along the usual partisan lines.

What fellow Democrats such as U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-University City, called “a smart, energetic agenda,’’  Republicans like U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, labeled “the same old, tired, Washington-based ideas.”

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The federal government puts St. Louis in the top 20 jurisdictions for human trafficking.

That ranking, as well as a host of other sobering facts about human trafficking came to light during a summit Monday morning in Edwardsville hosted by Republican Congressmen John Shimkus and Rodney Davis of Illinois.

Attendees also learned:

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has been supportive of how the U.S. froze bank accounts and barred visas of Russian officials over that country’s action in Ukraine.  

But the Illinois Democrat wants to send a stronger message to Russia by taking initial steps to admit the Republic of Georgia into NATO.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics. 

We’ve broken another barrier on the show: U.S. Rep. John Shimkus is the first political figure from Illinois to be a guest on the podcast. The Collinsville Republican has represented large areas of southern Illinois since 1997 and plays a major role on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, announces his bid for a 10th term in Congress in Troy.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - U.S. Rep. John Shimkus may not face as stiff of a re-election challenge as his other colleagues from Metro East. After all, the Collinsville Republican represents a heavily GOP district and won election last year in a landslide.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Illinois Congressman John Shimkus has kicked off his latest re-election campaign.

The nine-term Republican announced his bid Monday in Danville as he began a two-day tour around the 15th Congressional District.

The heavily Republican district includes 33 counties and runs from Hoopeston along the Indiana state line to Collinsville, where Shimkus is from.

Shimkus was first elected to Congress in 1996 and is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Reporting by WSIU's Jennifer Fuller.

A southern Illinois Congressman says the United States shouldn’t get involved in Syria – and worries any form of attack would put this country and its allies at greater risk.

Representative John Shimkus, R-Collinsville says the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government on civilians is an international issue – one the U.S. shouldn’t take the lead on.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

Illinois Congressmen John Shimkus and Rodney Davis renewed their calls Friday for President Obama to approve an expansion to the Keystone Pipeline.

The two Republicans touted legislation passed this month that they hope will put pressure on the president to sign off on the portion of the pipeline that crosses the US and Canada border.

“The bottom line is: bigger pipe, more crude oil, access to our markets and our refineries," Shimkus said. "If you understand supply and demand – the more supply and demand stays the same, then prices go down and everyone benefits.”

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Shimkus on Obama's State of the Union address

President Barack Obama delivered an election-year message to Republicans: Game on.

The GOP - in Congress and on the campaign trail - signaled it's ready for the fight.

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama issued a populist call for income equality that echoed the Occupy Wall Street movement. He also challenged GOP lawmakers to work with him or move aside so he could use the power of the presidency to produce results for an electorate uncertain whether he deserves another term.

(via Flickr/Cliff1066TM)

Illinois' Republican congressmen are largely defending their party's decision not to support an extension of the payroll tax cut and jobless benefits.

They say the U.S. Senate bill they rejected called for only a two-month extension, and they think a longer-term solution would be better.

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus tells the (Springfield) State Journal-Register that a one-year extension would get the issue "out of political debate."

Reps. Bobby Schilling and Aaron Schock agreed. Schilling called the Senate's plan "unworkable."

The director of John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis says surgeries could resume next week at the facility. The center stopped performing surgeries because of concerns over contamination on some operating-room equipment. 

Meanwhile, congressional reaction to the new problems has been harsh.