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Former TV weatherman Eric Sorensen won the Illinois House seat vacated by fellow Democrat Cheri Bustos, beating Republican challenger Esther Joy King.
His election in the state’s 17th District brings Illinois’ first openly gay congressman to Congress and is a victory for Democrats seeking to retain seats, especially in rural areas.
The seat opened when Bustos announced his retirement earlier this year, potentially leaving Sen. Dick Durbin as Illinois’ only congressional Democrat outside of Chicago.