Mike Bost

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois' 12th congressional district talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Feb. 19, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Six weeks in office, U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., said he’s getting his bearings in Washington, D.C., but he’s still happy for a trip home to southern Illinois.

“We did everything, from visit our community colleges and tech schools that were there, and some businesses and mayors, so we’re busy,” he told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh of his first Congressional break.

Jim Howard | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, spent his first day Tuesday as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives with about 70 friends and relatives on hand to watch his swearing-in ceremony. 

Late in the afternoon, well-wishers packed his small office in the Longworth House Office Building across the street from the Capitol building for a congratulatory reception.

Bost has spent weeks getting ready. He's gone through training for new members, hiring staff and finding his way through the tunnels that connect his office to the Capitol.

St. Louis County Executive-elect Steve Stenger talks to St. Louis Public Radio reporters Nov. 5, 2014, during a recording of the 'Politically Speaking' podcast.
Chris McDaniel / St. Louis Public Radio

Wednesday on “St. Louis on the Air,” we gathered our political reporters to recap Tuesday’s election. The consensus: Republicans ruled the night.

“It was a Republican bloodbath, nationally and regionally,” said Jo Mannies, St. Louis Public Radio political reporter. “But it also shows that St. Louis County is definitely Democratic turf because the only two Democratic candidates — big names — who remained standing were Steve Stenger and Jill Schupp.”

State Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Oct. 16, 2014, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Rebecca Smith / St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Mike Bost rode the national Republican wave to victory Tuesday night, knocking off incumbent U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart to represent parts of the Metro East in Congress. 

Bost’s victory capped off a buoyant night for Republicans nationally and in the Land of Lincoln, where Republican Bruce Rauner unseated incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, won re-election.

(Provided by: Paula Bradshaw)

“People in America don’t understand that our monetary supply is debt based. They think it comes from taxes,” Paula Bradshaw explained. “Taxes are just the [Government’s] way of getting money back from people that’s already in circulation.”

Paula Bradshaw, an emergency room registered nurse who lives in Carbondale, is the Green Party’s candidate to represent Illinois’ 12th congressional district. It’s her second time contesting the seat. In 2012, she received nearly 6 percent of the vote.

State Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Oct. 16, 2014, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Rebecca Smith / St. Louis Public Radio

While the leading candidates for one of the nation’s most competitive Congressional races agreed that the economy and jobs were the top issue facing the 12th Congressional District.

In back-to-back interviews Thursday on “St. Louis on the Air,” state Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, and U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart, D-Belleville, made their cases for the seat, which encompasses portions of the Metro East and southern Illinois, but clashed on whether climate change is real.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

On a late September day in Granite City, U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart was in his element. He was presenting a big ceremonial check to Chestnut Health Systems, symbolizing a grant to help homeless veterans.

While standard fare for members of Congress, these kinds of events represent a big change of pace for Enyart, who was the leader of the Illinois National Guard before he ran for Illinois’ 12th congressional district seat in 2012.

Illinois state Rep. Mike Bost's impassioned floor speech from 2012 is getting some attention. Democrats are using it to paint him as an ill-tempered extremist, while Republicans say it showcases his passion for his constituents.
Mike Bost's campaign

On the surface, Mike Bost and Moses don’t have that much in common. But some not-so-flattering political ads may create a different impression.

Bost – a Republican state representative from Murphysboro – is engaged in a highly competitive race against U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart, D-Belleville, for the 12th congressional district seat. It’s become vigorous enough to force the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to spend lots of money to paint Bost in a bad light.

(Illinois General Assembly website)

A longtime Illinois state lawmaker says he's running for a southern Illinois congressional seat.

State Rep. Mike Bost of Murphysboro won't seek re-election in the state's 115th District and instead will pursue the 12th Congressional District seat. 

The Republican has been a state lawmaker for 18 years.

The U.S. House seat Bost will pursue is held by Democrat Bill Enyart, who was elected last November and announced in May he'll be seeking another two-year term.

The 12th District stretches from the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis to the state's southernmost tip.

We already know that budgets and austerity measures are controversial, especially when it concerns the pensions of public employees. Wisconsin is solid proof. But if you need another reminder of just how combustive it gets when you mix politics, unions and public employees, just take a look at this video: