COLLINSVILLE, Ill. — U.S. Rep. John Shimkus said Friday he won’t run for re-election after more than 20 years in Congress, the 14th House Republican to decline a 2020 race.
Shimkus represents the 15th District, which includes all or part of 33 counties stretching from central Illinois to near the southern tip of the state. He won by just 1,200 votes in the 20th District in 1996 but has since coasted against Democratic challengers.
Shimkus, 61, of Collinsville has won in three different districts after boundaries were changed following the decennial census.
”It has been the honor of my lifetime to be asked by the people of Illinois to represent them,” he said in a written statement.
Shimkus didn’t give a reason for retiring. Earlier, speaking on St. Louis radio station KMOX , he said he traveled the district to get comfortable about the decision.
“This was my last chance to get out there and figure out if this is what I wanted to do,” Shimkus said. “I traveled the district the whole break just doing my job. I didn’t want it to be a farewell thing.”
House Republicans are in the minority after the 2018 election. Shimkus is the third-ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.