Research engineer to announce run for Congress

Eric Thorsland, a research engineer at the University, will announce his candidacy for the Illinois 15th Congressional District at noon this Thursday at Champaign County Democratic Headquarters, 110 S. Neil St., according to a press release. Thorsland works in the nuclear physics department and builds equipment for practice research.

Thorsland is currently in his second term as Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals and has been a member since 2007. He will face off against incumbent, republican Rep. John Shimkus.

Shimkus was elected as the representative for the 15th district in January. Previously, he served as the representative for the 19th District in Illinois from 2003-2013.

“Mr. Shimkus is fairly ineffective…He is running for his tenth term in congress and has very little to show for it,” Thorsland said. “They need a representative in congress that would rather make progress instead of making a point.”

Thorsland said he is not sure if he will still work at the University if he wins the election. However, he said his first goal is to just prevail in the primary and is hopefully looking forward to working with the people in the 15th District.