PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Democratic hopeful for Illinois’ 13th District, Nikki Budzinski, said she wants to be a Congresswoman who works for the working class.
She joined WMBD’s Matt Sheehan for On The Record to talk about her campaign.
Budzinski is hoping to challenge U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) for the 2022 election. This comes before the final congressional maps have been announced after the 2020 U.S. Census data was announced.
Illinois is set to lose one congressional seat before the 2022 election.
Budzinski talked about her priorities when running for the 13th District.
“I’m concerned about the middle class, the working class both in Central and Southern Illinois,” Budzinski said.
She previously worked as the chief of staff for President Biden’s Office of Management and Budget, and also was a senior advisor to Gov. Pritzker.
“I had the opportunity to be both in public service and working on behalf of working families I was able to do that,” Budzinski said.
When asked if she “approved of President Biden’s handling of withdrawing of American troops in Afghanistan,” she dodged the question.
“My heart and my prayers go out to the loved ones of those that lost American servicemen and women who have been fighting and helping with the evacuation. This was a 20-year war. One that wasn’t easy to get out of,” she said. “This is a humanitarian crisis and we need to do everything we can, as President Biden has committed to, to make sure every American is able to safely leave Afghanistan. That’s a committment I believe in.”
She said under President Biden’s administration, her office was responsible for implementing the American Rescue Plan.
“This includes the Child Tax Credit,” Budzinski said. “This is something Rodney Davis voted against.”
Under the Pritzker administration, Budzinski boasts the move to make the minimum wage $15 in Illinois.
Rep. Davis recently said Budzinski helped former Speaker of the House Michael Madigan get people into State government.
Budzinski called Davis’ comments “distractions” and claimed she didn’t know what he was talking about.
“I don’t know what Rodney Davis is referring to. Other than to say I am utterly proud of the work we did in that first year under Governor Pritzker. Increasing the minimum wage, passing one of the largest capital bills that creates good-paying jobs in Illinois,” Budzinski said.
She also touted her work as the Chair of the Broadband Advisory Council under Gov. Pritzker.
She says as a Congresswoman, she wants to create more opportunities for good-paying union jobs.
“I think we need to be talking about affordable college,” Budzinski said.
While lawmakers are discussing cancelling student debt, Budzinski didn’t say flat out if she supports the idea.
She did say she wants to support managing the costs of college and having it be affordable for more families.
Budzinski isn’t the only Democratic candidate for IL-13, David Palmer is also running.