Deering, Erickson going head-to-head to replace Caulkins in 88th House race - Dan Caulkins - Illinois State Representative 101st District Skip to main content

Deering, Erickson going head-to-head to replace Caulkins in 88th House race

Creative Media Services Inc. Creative Media Services, Inc. | March 18, 2024

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) – State Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) kept his promise of only serving three, two-year terms in the 88th district which includes all or parts of Macon, DeWitt, Piatt and McLean counties.

Now voters will have two names to choose from on their primary ballot: Mt. Zion School Board member Regan Deering from Decatur and McLean County board member Chuck Erickson from Bloomington. Whoever wins will join the Republican caucus in the Illinois House of Representatives.

What happens if voters in Illinois elect a dead candidate?

“We have conservative values that are being eroded in state legislation, and so as a loud conservative, I intend to go to the Capitol and just continue to talk about our messaging,” Deering said. “We’re looking to lower taxes, we want people to have less regulations, keep more of their hard-earned money.” 

Deering believes she can get work done across party lines if elected. Erickson also emphasized the importance of working with Democrats in the General Assembly.

“There are times when you have to have those conversations with Democrats, there are times when you have to talk to them,” Erickson said. “That doesn’t mean you sell your soul. That doesn’t mean you sell your conservative values. It just means you’re pragmatic.”

Deering is the granddaughter of ADM’s founder. This isn’t her first time running for office.

She ran to represent Illinois’ 13th congressional district in 2022 but lost to Democratic congresswoman Nikki Budzinski. Deering later ran for the Mt. Zion school board and won.

If elected, Deering said her priorities are on the economy, the workforce, public education and lowering taxes including relief for farmers and businesses.

“When we have the cost of everything going up we’re just looking for an opportunity for our government to make sure we can keep more of our hard earned money,” Deering said.

IL House District Republican Primary to be decided by rare write-in battle

Erickson has practiced law in Bloomington for more than two decades. He grew up in Gibson City and worked in factories after finishing high school. His focus is also on helping taxpayers and protecting “rural values,” citing his Gibson City roots.

“A lot of people, they denigrate rural values, they denigrate family values, they want someone who will take a stand for their values for what they believe in,” Erickson said. “They also want someone who will take a stand for their communities.”

With Illinois seeing an influx of migrants from the southern border, both candidates say they would not support additional funding to help the state address the crisis.

Erickson introduced a resolution that would stop McLean County from using tax dollars to help migrants if any are sent to the county. According to WMBD, that resolution failed 13-7.

“Illinoisans, when they pay money in for their taxes, they want it to go for their health care. They want it to go for their kids’ education. They want it to go for their district, they want to go for their communities, and they don’t want it spent on other things,” Erickson said. “That’s not being immoral. That’s just saying, ‘Listen, our money should be used for us.’”

Bipartisan Illinois leaders call to put constitutional ethics initiative amendment on November ballot

Deering said she would want to cut the state’s spending on the migrant crisis.

“It’s a humanitarian crisis showing up right here in Illinois and I feel like our legislators need to come together and talk about what we can do to be able to serve the people that are here, but also send back the people that we can’t continue to fund,” Deering said.

If elected, Deering said she’ll also focus on supporting gun rights and anti-abortion related issues. Erickson said he also would support a policy to keep the moratorium in place on healthcare benefits for non-citizens.

Illinois’ primary is March 19.

Deering, Erickson going head-to-head to replace Caulkins in 88th House race
Deering, Erickson going head-to-head to replace Caulkins in 88th House race