SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) – With the election just a week away, the candidates for Illinois’ 13th congressional district, which includes parts of Springfield, Decatur, Champaign, and Urbana, are feeling confident about their chances of winning.
“I’m feeling really good about the race,” Democratic candidate Nikki Budzinski said. “We’ve been working really hard traveling throughout the entire congressional district. We’ve been working to get the vote out, we’ve got a great field operation and great volunteers.”
“It’s exciting to think we’re just one week away from Election Day,” Republican candidate Regan Deering said. “We have been working really hard getting out across [the] Illinois 13th district and meeting voters where they are, talking about what’s top of mind concerns for them.”
Budzinski and Deering are finishing off the race talking to voters about the issues impacting their vote ahead of Election Day.
Based on a recent WCIA, The Hill and Emerson College poll, the top issue for voters is the economy and rising costs due to inflation.
For Deering, bringing down those costs means cutting government spending.
“That needs to be our number one priority is getting in and taking control of the dollars that we are spending and making our voters feel like we’re working for them,” Deering said.
Budzinski said allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices is bringing people some financial relief.
“I think that’s a good step forward, but it was only a very select number of drugs, we should really be expanding that,” Budzinski said.
Deering also said she supports lowering prescription drug costs.
“Prescription drug costs are impacting all of our families and all of our individuals across the state and across this country, so certainly working hard at the federal level to make sure we have the ability to negotiate with insurance companies and drug companies to make sure that we are keeping our costs affordable, especially for life saving medicines,” Deering said.
On the issue of Social Security and Medicare spending, Deering, a business owner, said she has heard discussions about “means testing,” and believes wealthy people would be willing to sacrifice those benefits, but told WCIA Monday she doesn’t support cuts to those programs.
“Those who are on a limited income are feeling the pressure of knowing they’ve got to make tough choices, maybe between paying their rent or prescription drug costs or groceries,” Deering said. “I have been very clear that I am someone that’s going to continue to support and protect both Social Security and Medicare.”
Another issue top of mind for voters: abortion access. When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, states across the country put in place restrictions or bans on abortions.
While abortion rights remain protected in Illinois, Budzinski supports keeping them safe at the federal level and said if a national abortion ban were to go into effect, it could impact people in Illinois.
“If a national abortion ban actually is put forward by House Republicans, and they take control of the House, those same protections that women in Illinois have today would also be affected and rolled back,” Budzinski said.
Deering does not support a national abortion ban and said its up to individual states to decide whether to restrict abortion access.
“If I’m going to be an advocate for making it a state’s issue, I’m not going to support a national ban,” Deering said.
Not only will voters choose Budzinski or Deering to represent them in Congress when they fill out their ballot, they will also vote on Amendment 1, also known as the Workers’ Rights Amendment, which would enshrine collective bargaining in the Illinois constitution.
In the same WCIA, The Hill and Emerson College poll, 53.7% of voters plan to vote yes on the amendment.
Budzinski, who worked on labor policies in Governor Pritzker’s administration, supports the amendment.
“I’m very proud to support the Workers’ Rights Amendment because what it means is protections for working people making sure that they make good pay, good benefits [and that] they have safe working conditions,” Budzinski said.
Deering does not support the amendment.
To take back control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Republicans need to gain five seats.