Shorewood Republican changes state races for House seat

The GOP incumbent had just announced he won’t seek reelection

Republican Tom McCullagh talks to his supporters at a fundraiser for his campaign for the Illinois Senate on Thursday, March, 12, 2020, at Scooters Roadhouse in Shorewood, Ill.

A Shorewood Republican announced his campaign to run for an Illinois House seat, switching races after an incumbent said he wouldn’t seek reelection.

Tom McCullagh said he was running to represent the 97th District, after initially announcing a run for a state senate seat. His switch came after State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, said he would not seek reelection in 2022.

“I want to thank Mark Batinick for his almost eight years as a state rep. providing great conservative leadership in the greater Plainfield area,” McCullagh said in a statement. “When looking at places to live, the Plainfield/Shorewood area stood out because Mark Batinick was the state rep. After hearing of his intent to not run again, I decided to run to fill the seat in the ‘22 cycle. I know I have a lot to live up to, but I intend to represent the people of the 97th District to the best of my ability.”

In his announcement, McCullagh touched on many of the hot-button issues pervading political discourse in recent months, including education curriculum. He espoused strong support for law enforcement and has advocated for local veterans.

He also blamed the state’s high taxes for a “mass outflow of residents.” Illinois did lose population over the previous decade, according to the 2020 census count.

Earlier this year, McCullagh decided to run for the 49th Senate District seat, the same seat he lost to now-Sen. Meg Loughran Cappel, D-Shorewood, in 2020.

The primary election in Illinois is set for June 28.