ILLINOIS (WMBD) — The U.S. House of Representatives is in the spotlight again this November.

All seats are up for grabs. But before we get there, candidates need to win their own party’s nomination here in Illinois this June.

Democratic candidate for Illinois’ 17th congressional district, Eric Sorensen, joined WMBD’s Matt Sheehan for a recorded interview. Part of this interview aired on WMBD News at Noon Friday.

Question: Let’s get into a couple of priorities you have if elected into office. One of those is about climate change and the environment. What are some things you would do in Congress to benefit our environment?

“We all have to understand that climate change is real and is affecting everyone today. We see the events happening in Northwestern and Central Illinois. The record flooding, the tornadoes happening out of season. I think of Washington. That happened in November. Poplar Grove, that happened in January. We’re seeing longer and more intense droughts affecting our family farmers. I’m the climate communicator. I’ve been talking about this for decades and will continue to do so and be an advocate for the right action. It’s coming back here and communicating what that needs to be. There’s no silver bullet to climate change. This isn’t an all-or-nothing approach. We have to take gradual steps forward to make sure we’re transforming into a greener society. We here in central Illinois are going to be the epicenter of that green economy,” Sorensen said.

Question: Another topic you’re passionate about is gun violence prevention. This topic is weighing heavy on the hearts of many Americans after the recent mass shootings in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. What’s your call to action on this topic?

“I appreciate you’re asking that question. I absolutely support gun violence prevention measures. I believe that we need to make sure we have safety protocols in place. We have regulations that determine when you can drive a car when you can buy a can of beer, we need to make sure there’s also that regulation that an 18-year-old can’t go and buy an AR-15 with 500 rounds and shoot up their school. That’s personal. We all need to be on board with that. I do support the 2nd Amendment and protecting the rights of responsible, lawful gun owners. I also believe we need to protect our families and kids and keep those deadly weapons out of the hands of violent criminals. Domestic abusers and those who want to seek harm in our communities,” Sorensen said.

“We need to ban assault weapons and we must ban ghost guns,” he continued. “That’s not just my personal thought, that’s something I hear from voters across our District. We’re all unified in that. This is personal to me. I was on the air in Rockford for several hours in 2008 when the NIU shooting happened. That was my school. I was the one who sat on the news desk and was able to say “That’s Cole Hall. I remember all of the classes I took in Cole Hall. So it happened in my school. Now it will be my job to ensure it doesn’t happen in someone else’s school.”

Sheehan is profiling the IL-17 Democratic Primary. More of Sorensen’s interview will be a part of this story coming very soon.