Republican Nominee for U.S. House, Illinois' 13th District
By Nancy Almasi, Virginia
Education is a driving force for Republican candidates these days, and Regan Deering (Illinois CD-13) is no exception. As a former science teacher and small business owner as well as a mom with three children now running for Congress, Regan said she jumped into politics because she is “afraid for the future of my children in the America that is unfolding now. I was unhappy with our local school board. It was time to get off the sidelines.”
The Decatur native was among the plaintiffs who successfully sued Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker over his mask mandates for school children. Issuing a temporary restraining order, a circuit court judge ruled that students do not have to wear a mask if they don’t want to unless they are given due process. Pritzker appealed the ruling, but it was upheld. The plaintiffs will return to court later this month for a final ruling.
“That was a real eye-opening experience for me,” said Regan, “but we knew what the law was, and we made sure the law was upheld. The Governor’s mandate was complete overreach.” Regan described the struggles for kids to wear masks in schools. She spoke with one teacher who was relieved that she had kept all her recorded videos from teaching virtually so she could replay them for children learning how to read so they could follow along as she sounded out the words,” she noted. Regan also pointed out that older students suffered by missing milestones such as college tours and graduations.
“It’s going to take years for these students to catch up (on their learning). Parents are really waking up to what’s going on in schools. I’ve met a lot of mama bears out there who are not afraid to speak up,” she said.
Regan also credits joining the Macon County Republican Women with helping her decision to run for Congress. “Now that the primary is over, my opponents have pledged their support and we are united,” she said. (Regan won a tight four-person primary by less than 700 votes.) Her fellow club members have been busy phone-banking, knocking doors, walking in parades, and sending out mailings. “We have moms in the school pick-up line who will take 15 minutes to make calls while they wait,” Regan remarked.
While Illinois CD-13 was redrawn during the redistricting process to favor Democrats, Republican voters outnumbered Democrats during the primary by approximately 42,000 to 39,000. “While that’s a good indicator for November, we can’t rest on that," Regan said. "We know that Democrats know how to organize. But Republicans are fired up and so are lots of Independents and soft Democrats. We are hoping to bring back moms with school age kids who perhaps weren’t on our side in 2020. We’ve kept our campaign positive and about issues like safe schools and safe neighborhoods and holding government accountable. This is a data-driven campaign, and we will focus on name ID and voter turnout.”
Regan is included on the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Gun list. She has also received endorsements from Maggie’s List, View PAC, and former Representative Tim Johnson. Paul Osborne, editor of the Decatur Tribune, wrote in a recent editorial that it’s the Democrats' race to lose, noting how Regan hustled for every vote in a tight four-way primary while her Democrat counterpart cruised to an easy victory.
If elected in November, Regan plans to do a lot of “listening and learning.” As a first-time candidate, she’s working alongside other Republican nominees to develop ideas on how to best represent the district. She would like to serve on the House Education and Labor, Financial Services, and Agriculture committees.
Learn more about Regan's campaign at regan4congress.com.