ANDALUSIA, Ill. — Illinois representation is changing, and not everyone is happy about it.
Democrats in the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate on Tuesday, Aug. 31 approved legislative maps that redrew district lines across the state in a way that they said better reflects the state's geographic, racial and ethnic diversity.
For Republican State Sen. Neil Anderson, a representative of Illinois' 36th District since 2015, these new lines made a major impact. He was drawn out of his own district.
"The majority party spent $12 million trying to beat me the last two elections," Anderson said. "(They) couldn't beat me, so they just drew me out … This is government bureaucracy and overreach at its worst."
On the new legislative map, Anderson's house fell outside of his district by just half a mile. Now, Anderson must face the decision on whether to move within the boundaries of the 36th District or run for the seat in his new district against a fellow Republican incumbent.
"It's frustrating," Anderson said. "I wish I could say I expected different."
State Rep. Mike Halpin (D-72nd District), who announced his candidacy for the 36th District's Senate seat Wednesday afternoon, expressed support for the new maps and argued redistricting rejoins communities of interest.
"Sen. Anderson was drawn into a district that I think is fairly rural and fairly supportive of what his issues are," Halpin said. "I look forward to whatever he is going to do."
With pending lawsuits brought against the new boundaries and the maps yet to be signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Anderson said he won't be making any quick decisions.
"We'll see what happens with the lawsuit, and we'll go from there," Anderson said. "In my mind, everything is still up in the air."