Election 2024

Eric Sorenson will be the first out LGBTQ member of Congress from Illinois

Eric Sorensen
Eric Sorensen Photo: Campaign website

Eric Sorenson has won his race to represent Illinois District 17 in the House of Representatives, making him the state’s first out LGBTQ person elected to Congress.

The former meteorologist beat out far-right Republican Esther Joy King and celebrated his victory in a statement, saying he is “honored” to have been elected.

“I’ve worked to serve the people of Central & NW Illinois for 22 years, earning their trust by telling them the truth and helping them make the right decisions for their lives. In Congress, I will bring the same honesty to representing them and commitment to fighting for lower costs, reproductive rights, and good-paying, sustainable jobs right here at home.”

“Our communities are stronger when we work together, neighbor by neighbor – I look forward to advocating on behalf of the people of Central & NW Illinois in Congress and making sure that they have a seat at the table. And I look forward to continuing to be a good neighbor.”

Sorenson’s fear of storms as a child is what led him to meteorology. Learning what was happening helped him feel safe, and as an adult, he decided he wanted to help kids who were afraid like he was. So he started Project Tornado, for which meteorologists visit schools to educate kids about severe weather events. The initiative has reached about 50,000 students, according to his campaign website.

Mayor Annise Parker, President and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, also celebrated Sorenson’s victory, saying in a statement that “it could not come at a more important moment – when LGBTQ equality and abortion rights are on the chopping block in every corner of the nation, including in Congress.”

“Eric spent the last two decades keeping his local community safe by telling the truth and promoting a data-first approach to policy. His success tonight is a testament to the grassroots support he energized, as well as a highly effective ground game focused on candid conversations about how to make our government work better for all Americans. Eric’s pro-equality and pro-choice leadership will be critical to the future of our fundamental rights and freedoms.”

Sorenson lives in Moline with his partner, Shawn, and their two dogs, Oliver and Petey.

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