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John Shimkus wins 15th District U.S. Congressional seat

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus of Collinsville. | Susan Walsh/AP

John Shimkus has won the 15th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, defeating challenger Kevin Gaither, according to returns as reported by The Associated Press.

John Shimkus is the Republican incumbent representing the 15th district which is in southeast Illinois. He was first elected to Congress in 1996 and serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He is the chairman of its Subcommittee on the Environment.

Shimkus was an Army infantry officer for six years and was later an Army Reserves officer, according to his campaign website.

He is also the Head Elder of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Collinsville.

Shimkus voted for tax cuts and supported President Donald Trump’s border initiatives according to the campaign website.

He was challenged by Democrat Kevin Gaither. Gaither has worked as the Coles County web master and Coles County Precinct committeeman, according to the Chicago Tribune. He also worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 primary campaign.

According to his campaign website, he works as a self-employed tutor.

Gaither told the Belleville News-Democrat that he opposes recent steel tariffs and supports background checks for gun owners.

For live election results, visit the Sun-Times election guide.