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We've been gerrymandered! Have you ever looked at the boundaries of our U.S. Congressional District 15, currently represented by John Shimkus? It includes parts or all of 33 counties from Mahomet, Paxton & Danville in the north to Metropolis in the south. It’s roughly the southeast fourth of the state with some interesting irregularities. There are noticeable “holes” where Champaign-Urbana and Carbondale are located as well as an interesting “arm” that extends from the east side of the state all the way to the metro St. Louis area in the west. Shimkus happens to live in the metro St. Louis town of Collinsville which is divvied up into THREE districts. If you zoom in on Collinsville, the 15th District narrows to a point a few blocks west of a “hole” bounded by Main, Sycamore, St. Louis streets and Collinsville Ave. carved out with surgical precision. I don’t know Collinsville, but it makes me want to hop in my car to see what they omitted. Madison County where Shimkus lives is booming. Does he really care about the very different situation in our fourth of the state? His voting record shows that he does not represent our district. The mid-terms are coming. Both of his challengers, Gaither and Spoerer, actually live here and are more in tune with the needs of our district.

Karen Clausing, Charleston

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