ILLINOIS (WMBD) — After this election, most of Peoria and Bloomington will now be a part of the 17th Congressional district.

The campaign for November is nowhere near over, but the June Primaries are just around the corner.

WMBD’s Matt Sheehan spoke with all six Democratic candidates for the spot. This article will outline part one of this two-part report.

A professor, a former State Representative, and a member of the Illinois Army National Guard are three out of the six candidates running to be the next U.S. Rep. for Illinois’ 17th District.

Angie Normoyle has career experience as a professor of Communications at Augustana College. She also served on the Rock Island County Board. Her role in education has influenced her focus on education, if elected into congress.

“The Pell Grant strikes me as a really great opportunity,” Normoyle said. “It’s a program we already have in place, we know it works. To increase that funding, it’d be a big assist to our students.”

Normoyle said the 17th District is perfectly positioned to be a leader in fixing our supply chain issues.

“We’ve got the transportation with both the highways, trains, and the Mississippi River,” Normoyle said. “Right here in the center of the district, we also have the Rock Island Arsenal. I think we can learn a lot of lessons from what they do as well.”

Litesa Wallace has already made herself known in the Illinois political world. Serving as State Rep. for Illinois’ 67th District from 2014-2019. Wallace told Sheehan she’s ready to serve at the federal level.

“I have a record of being able to get things done here in the State where healthcare is concerned. Childcare, living wages,” Wallace said.

If elected to Congress, Wallace told WMBD that one specific change she wants to see, would impact millions of American families.

“There have been proposals in the Build Back Better plan, to make sure we have Universal Pre-K. I would love for that to happen in our nation,” Wallace said. “Childcare in 2nd and 3rd shift, isn’t often available. We need to make sure those options are there for our workers.”

Next is Jonathan Logemann. Logemann is a teacher, an alderman in Rockford, and also a Company Commander in the Illinois Army National Guard. His experience in the Armed Services has guided his focus to supporting our veterans.

“Every soldier has taken that oath to defend State and Country,” Logemann said. “We need to make sure as a State, and as a country, we are there for our servicemembers.”

One way to do this, Logemann said, is through more funding.

“Making sure we support these programs, and preparedness programs too. We talk about that a lot in the City of Rockford, too. Natural disasters and those other catastrophes,” Logemann said. “Because we see when they are gutted, and we need them. If the government isn’t there to support our livelihoods, they’re big problems we’ve got to fix.”

You just heard from only half of the Democratic candidates. Airing Wednesday night (June 8) is the second part of this report. Candidates in this report are Eric Sorensen, Jacqueline McGowan, and Marsha Williams.