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Race for the House: Eric Sorensen, Esther Joy King compete to represent Illinois District 17

Esther Joy King is a lawyer and in the military. Eric Sorensen is a former TV meteorologist.

MOLINE, Ill. — One of the most crowded fields of candidates during the Illinois primary election is now set to go head-to-head.

Republican Esther Joy King, 35, will face Democrat Eric Sorensen, 46, in the redrawn Illinois U.S. House 17th Congressional District general election in November.

"We know what's happening here," Sorensen said.

"The momentum is with us," King said.

King is a lawyer and in the military. Sorensen is a former TV meteorologist. 

"I think people in November, are now going to have a choice on the person that they have invited into their living rooms," Sorensen said.

"Right now everyone is coming our way, so we can get what we deserve and get much better representation," King said.

Sorensen won the 2022 primary election with 38% of the vote over former state representative Litesa Wallace's 23%.

King had 69% to small business owner Charles Helmick's 31% in the 2022 primary.

"We're going to bring accountability to Washington D.C. and use our voice for common sense problem solving," King said.

"There's an excitement that is built about science, about trust and communication," Sorensen said.

Both candidates agree to tackle inflation issues if elected.

"It's hard to fill up your gas tank and your grocery cart on the same day," King said. "That is just unacceptable."

"It's happening to every one of us and it's something that we've got to make sure we bust the partisan divide," Sorensen said.

King said her top priorities include the border, fentanyl crisis and parent decision-making. 

Sorensen said climate change, health care and schools are among his top focal points.

"Everybody is with us," King said. "The Republicans are with us. The Independents are with us. And even the Democrats are coming our way, because they are fed up."

 "They want the scientist that they trust, to go to Washington and find the solutions for them and not to trust the bickering of politicians," Sorensen said.

Sorensen beat five other candidates during the primary. 

King came close to unseating incumbent U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos during the 2020 general election. 

The congressional seat became open after Bustos announced her upcoming retirement in November 2022. 

Sorensen was born in Rockford. King is from Mexico.

The 17th district covers the Peoria area, up through the Quad Cities and into Rockford.

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