Six candidates are running in the Democratic primary for Illinois’ 17th Congressional District on June 28, 2022. Incumbent Rep. Cheri Bustos (D) is not running for re-election. Jonathan Logemann, Angie Normoyle, Eric Sorensen, and Litesa Wallace have led in fundraising.
Logemann, a high school economics and business teacher, has been a member of the Rockford City Council since 2017, representing the 2nd Ward. Logemann said he decided to run because he felt a call to serve his community. Logemann has focused on his background as a teacher and a member of the National Guard, saying, “As a teacher, and with my service in the Illinois National Guard and as an alderman … none of these are glamorous jobs at all, but service to community is something that’s very important to me.” Logemann has also highlighted labor issues, writing, “I am running to raise wages, fight for workplace protections, defend the right to collectively bargain, and ensure our workers are treated fairly.”
Illinois AFL-CIO, the Illinois Education Association, and Vote Vets PAC have endorsed Logemann.
Normoyle has represented the 14th district on the Rock Island County board since 2019. A professor at Augustana College, Normoyle has cited education as a top issue. She has highlighted her work serving on the Moline school board, saying, “During my time on the School Board, we modernized the Moline School District, expanding schools to provide space for alternative learning, art, extracurriculars, and more.” Normoyle has also focused on her ties to the district, saying, “This district has been my home for the majority of my life, and I’m deeply committed to investing in a healthy community. We need more representatives who lead with a local approach – who meet with community leaders, hold open meetings, and listen to community members, not special interests.”
The Leadership Now Project has endorsed Normoyle.
Sorensen, a TV meteorologist in the Quad Cities area, has focused on climate change. Sorensen’s website says, “In Central and Northwest Illinois, we know that climate change is real — whether it was the 2021 summer drought or, the August 2020 derecho with 100 miles per hour winds.” He added, “Now is the time to act, and we need an experienced climate communicator to lead.” Sorensen has also focused on LGBTQ issues and has spoken about experiencing discrimination early in his career. Sorensen said, “[At my first TV job], I was told that I couldn’t be gay and work there. My experiences in Rockford and the Quad Cities were quite different — I was able to be out on TV! And in the Quad Cities, I took a more active role in our LGBTQ community.”
The LGBTQ Victory Fund, Equality PAC, and Climate Hawks Vote have endorsed Sorensen.
Wallace represented the 67th district in the Illinois House of Representatives from 2014 to 2019. A single mother and a mental health counselor, Wallace has focused on childcare issues. Wallace wrote, “When I get to Congress, I will fight hard to expand affordable childcare programs for parents who are working lower-wage jobs or who are in school or training programs.” She added, “Right now, many Illinois parents simply can’t afford to pay for good, reliable childcare. Paying average costs for day care for a 4-year-old would eat up more than half of a minimum wage worker’s annual income — and care for an infant would cost almost three-fourths of that worker’s paycheck.” In 2018, Wallace ran in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor of Illinois on the ticket of gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss (D), losing 45.1% to 26.7%.
The Illinois Federation of Teachers, Democracy for America, and the Illinois chapter of the SEIU have endorsed Wallace.
The lines of the 17th district changed after re-districting. According to FiveThirtyEight, the old district had a partisan lean of R+5, while the new district has a partisan lean of D+4. One election forecaster rates the general election Tilt Democratic, while two rate it a Toss-up, suggesting it will be competitive.
Jacqueline McGowan and Marsha Williams are also running in the primary.