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Rep. Walsh to Run in Whatever District His Home is Mapped

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Sep 21, 2011 7:00PM

2011_09_21_joe_walsh.jpg 8th Congressional District Rep. Joe Walsh said today that, If the proposed Congressional map put forth by Illinois Democrats stand, he will challenge fellow Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren (14th) in a primary fight. The new boundaries as drawn place Walsh's current home in the 14th and would make Walsh's current district more Democratic. The Tea Party darling must be predicting his chances of reelection would be much slimmer.

Walsh's fight with then-incumbent Melissa Bean last fall was close enough as it is. Walsh writes, via the Tribune:

"If (voters) have to decide between two Republican incumbents, so be it. In many ways, Randy and I are both good conservatives who share many of the same values, but there are also healthy differences between the two of us. We've both had a very different initial tenure in Washington, and the voters in the new district will decide which one of us will best be their voice in DC."

Walsh has been in the Beltway for less than a year, but he's been making headlines -- and not good ones. He and his wife have been involved in a very public fight over whether or not he owes back child support. He refused to attend Obama's jobs speech, saying he won't be a "prop" for the president's agenda. Yesterday Walsh made an appearance on Citizens For Responsibility And Ethics In Washington (CREW)'s list of the most corrupt congressmen. Walsh also introduced legislation urging Palestine to stop its bid for statehood. Hultgren responded to Walsh's announcement, via Capitol Fax:

“I’m disappointed that the Congressman from the 8th District has decided to abandon his own district to run against me in a primary,” said US Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14). “By doing so, he’s playing into the hands of the Springfield Democrats and Nancy Pelosi, who have drawn the Congressional map for Illinois specifically to encourage just such a contest."

Gov. Quinn signed the new map into law in June, but the state GOP started a court fight against it in July on the grounds that it discriminates against Latino and Republican voters.