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LaHood’s Democratic challenger gears up for fall campaign

Photo from George Petrilli

PEORIA (WEEK) - The Democratic candidate for Congress in Illinois' 18th Congressional District said he's just starting to raise cash he'll need to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Dunlap).

However, Springfield attorney George Petrilli, who said he's also an ex-Peoria firefighter, pledges not to accept donations from corporate Political Action Committees, also known as PACS. Petrilli said he's undecided whether he'll accept labor union donations.

He said he'll have more to say about his candidacy in the coming days.

There were no Democrats running in the March primary, but in recent weeks, Democratic Party leaders in the counties making up the 18th District placed Petrilli's name on the November ballot.

He's a Springfield-based lawyer, but said he was a firefighter during the time he lived in Peoria, from 2016-2018.

Petrilli, who's 39, ran unsuccessfully for Springfield alderman in 2007.

He said there are "real problems" in the district, namely inadequate health care and a lack of economic activity in rural communities.

Petrilli and his wife, Kasey, have a two-year old son, Teddy.

LaHood was first voted in after a 2005 special election to replace former Congressman Aaron Schock.

The 18th District covers 19 counties in central and west-central Illinois, and includes parts of Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, and Springfield.

Howard Packowitz

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