Congressman Mike Bost has won a closely watched contest to retain his seat in Illinois’ 12th Congressional District in the US House of Representatives.
Polls had shown the race against Democrat and St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly to be a dead heat until recently, when Bost, a two-term Republican from Murphysboro, began to see polling showing signs of a lead. The Green Party’s Randy Auxier was also on the ballot.
In the leadup to election day, the 12th District seat was seen nationally by observers as something of a bellwether if Democrats had designs on taking back control of the House of Representatives.
The Kelly campaign sought to highlight Bost’s relationship with the insurance industry and more than 30 years in elective office between his time in Washington and Springfield. Bost, in turn, tied Kelly to the possibility of Nancy Pelosi becoming the next House Speaker if Democrats took control of the House.
The race saw several high-profile surrogates come to the district to show support. President Donald Trump held a Murphysboro rally for Bost a little over a week ahead of election day and Vice President Mike Pence helped with a Metro East fundraiser.
Representative John Lewis campaigned in Belleville for Kelly and former Vice President Joe Biden headlined a rally in East St. Louis during the final last week of the campaign rally.
Representative Bost is with his supporters in Murphysboro while Kelly is watching returns come in from Belleville.
View Brendan Kelly’s concession speech: