John Shimkus | St. Louis Public Radio

John Shimkus

According to Washington University's Center for Social Development's latest study, predominantly black residents and low-income communities in the region face barriers in casting their ballots.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

BELLEVILLE — People who want to run as a Democrat or Republican in the November 2020 elections had until the end of the day Monday to file their paperwork with the Illinois State Board of Elections. 

The filing deadline is for seats in the Illinois General Assembly and Congress and only applies to people who want to represent one of the two leading parties. Independent and third-party candidates have until June 22, 2020, to file their paperwork.  

After Taking The Weekend To Reconsider Retirement, Shimkus Makes His Decision On 2020

Nov 4, 2019
Illinois Republican Congressman John Shimkus talks about national emergency, border security, and immigration. Shimkus continues his support for President Trump's national emergency at the border. March 22, 2019
File Photo | Derik Holtmann | Belleville News-Democrat

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, has made up his mind on a 2020 re-election bid.

He’s staying out.

In August of this year, Shimkus announced he would not seek another term. However, when U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Oregon, the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, announced he would not run again, Shimkus started having second thoughts.

Walden’s announcement opened up the possibility Shimkus, who was first elected in 1996, could become the top Republican on that committee. The opportunity led to him reconsider retirement from Congress.

Shimkus Now Reconsidering Retirement, Might Run For Another Term In Congress

Nov 1, 2019
Illinois Republican Congressman John Shimkus talks about national emergency, border security, and immigration. Shimkus continues his support for President Trump's national emergency at the border. March 22, 2019
File Photo | Derik Holtmann | Belleville News-Democrat

Two months after announcing that he would not seek another term in Congress, U.S. Rep. John Shimkus said Thursday that he will be taking the weekend to reconsider it.

In a statement, Shimkus, R-Collinsville, said he has been asked by House members in Washington, constituents in the 15th Congressional District and supporters throughout Illinois to delay his retirement plans because of the opportunity to become a committee leader with the retirement of Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Greg Walden.

Illinois State Representative To Explore Run To Replace Shimkus In 15th District

Sep 3, 2019
Mike Marron, a Republican from Fithian, Illinois, became a state representative in September 2018.
Illinois General Assembly

A state representative from the Vermilion County is looking into a run to replace U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville.

Mike Marron, a Republican from Fithian, plans to announce Monday an exploratory committee for a run in the 15th Congressional District, according to state political insiders.

The district runs includes Collinsville but mostly covers southeastern Illinois to the Kentucky and Indiana borders. 

Bost And Others Influenced Trump Into Backing Off Commuting Blagojevich’s Sentence

Aug 14, 2019
Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for trying to personally gain when appointing someone to fill Barack Obama's Senate seat after the 2008 election.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, confirmed he spoke with President Donald Trump and his acting chief of staff just before the president backed off of his consideration of commuting former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich' prison sentence.

Trump had brought up the idea while speaking to reporters on Air Force One while returning from a trip to El Paso, Texas last week.

CNN reported, Trump decided to back off after conversations with Bost and U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria. They also spoke with Trump's acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 7, 2009 - As the debate over health care heats up, the Beacon asked area members of the House and Senate where they stand at this time. Specifically, the Beacon asked:

Scott Air Force Base Project Could Be Cut To Pay For Border Wall Construction

Mar 22, 2019
Airman First Class Anthony Uelk, on the ladder, along with fellow 932nd Airlift Wing flight line crew chiefs, refuel a C-40 in preparation for a launch at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.
Christopher Parr | U.S. Air Force

Among the military construction projects that could be cut, or at least delayed, in order to pay for a wall on the southern border of the United States is a $41 million communications facility expansion at Scott Air Force Base.

Plans to build a new $1.75-billion National Geospatial-Intellence Agency campus in north St. Louis, a $5 million automated record fire range for the Illinois Army National Guard in Marseilles and a new $9 million fire rescue facility in Peoria are other construction projects that could be affected in order to build a border wall.

Those projects were among the $12.9 billion worth of military construction projects that could be sacrificed in order to pay for a border wall, according to a list released by the Department of Defense.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 6, 2011 - WASHINGTON - He's been vilified in the Las Vegas media, accused of staging a "publicity stunt" by the U.S. Senate majority leader and denounced by an influential U.S. House Democrat for making "irresponsible accusations."

But U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, an affable former schoolteacher from Collinsville, says he is taking the brouhaha over his efforts to revive the Yucca Mountain nuclear storage project in stride. And he vows to keep digging into the decision-making process involved in padlocking the tunnel in a Nevada mountain ridge that has swallowed $14 billion.

Congressman John Shimkus, November 2017
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back U.S. Rep. John Shimkus to the show for the third time.

Shimkus is a Collinsville Republican who was first elected to the U.S. House in 1996. He represents the enormous and heavily Republican 15th congressional district, which encompasses a big chunk of southern Illinois. In fact, since redistricting went into effect in 2012, Shimkus says his district appears to be the largest – area-wise – of any district east of the Mississippi River.

File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

Democrats and Republicans who make up the St. Louis area’s congressional delegation say they support President Donald Trump’s decision to use missiles against a Syrian airbase after this week’s chemical weapons attack that killed dozens.


Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri told St. Louis radio station KTRS that the action shows “the president listens … learns” and is “willing to look at new circumstances in a new way.” Missouri U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner chided the Obama administration on Friday for allowing the Syrian crisis to become “the largest war in this century,” adding, “the United States can no longer sit idly by.”

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

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.


(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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 5, 2013 - 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.

The region's most senior U.S. representative says he plans to use his latest campaign to showcase how he represents the conservative viewpoint of his constituents in a U.S. House full of diverse viewpoints.

Shimkus Kicks Off Bid For 10th Term In Congress

Nov 4, 2013
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.

Shimkus, Wagner Express Views On U.S. Involvement In Syria

Sep 4, 2013
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.”

GOP 'war' on EPA focuses on cost of regulations

Jul 11, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 11, 2012 - WASHINGTON – In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency opened its doors with an aggressive new chief, later dubbed “Mr. Clean,” and an independent charter to promote clean air and water across the country.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 5, 2012 - Illinois is often viewed as a Democratic stronghold, thanks in large part to the party's strength in the Chicagoland area and parts of downstate Illinois.

While few expect Illinois to be competitive in the 2012 presidential sweepstakes -- Barack Obama is, after all, a native son -- the 2010 election cycle saw a shift in the GOP's fortunes. Not only did Republicans capture Obama's U.S. Senate seat, they also captured several U.S. House seats in and around suburban Chicago.

Morning headlines: Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jan 25, 2012
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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 19, 2012 - WASHINGTON - The pressure of pipeline politics increased Wednesday after President Barack Obama -- complaining of a "rushed and arbitrary" deadline set by congressional Republicans -- rejected for now the proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline project.