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As expected, Shimkus plans to seek re-election in 2016

Republican Congressman Jim Shimkus.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI
Republican Congressman Jim Shimkus.

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, says he’s definitely running for re-election next year – a decision that isn’t a surprise.

Shimkus, 57, has been in office since 1997, and through two redistrictings that changed his turf’s boundaries – and its number. He currently represents the 15th District.

He says he is announcing his plans now because his campaign is beginning the signature collection needed to get on Illinois’ March primary ballot.

Shimkus is emphasizing his support for gun rights and his opposition to abortion. He also is highlighting his work in favor of oil and gas production, and his post as a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Shimkus’ district is considered Republican-leaning. So far, no major Democrat has announced plans to challenge him in 2016.

Jo Mannies is a freelance journalist and former political reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.