IL weatherman Sorensen becomes state’s first openly gay congressman

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ILLINOIS — Eric Sorensen, the Quad Cities-area meteorologist who ran for Congress in Illinois’ 17th District, announced Wednesday that his Republican challenger had conceded the election, making Sorensen the first congressman openly gay in the history of the state.

Sorensen announced in a press release on Wednesday that his opponent, Joy King, had called to concede after feedback showed Sorensen had won 52% of the vote with 88% of the votes counted. King had 48% of the vote when she conceded the election, Sorensen wrote that both candidates showed passion despite disagreeing on the issues.

The Sorensen Congressional District includes the Quad Cities and parts of Peoria and Rockford.

“I served the people of central and northwestern Illinois for 22 years, earning their trust by telling them the truth and helping them make the right decisions for their lives,” Sorensen said in the press release. “In Congress, I will bring the same honesty to represent them and the commitment to fight for lower costs, reproductive rights, and sustainable, well-paying jobs right here at home.”

Sorensen grew up in Rockford and, according to the Victory Fund website, dated while a student at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. He became chief meteorologist at WREX in Rockford at age 27 and spent 11 years there before moving to the Quad Cities and Moline, where he worked in television news for seven years.

The website said Sorensen faced discrimination during his first television job in Texas, where he was called into his boss’s office and found his contract on the desk with a morality clause highlighted. He was told he couldn’t be gay and work there, the website said.

Sorensen said on his campaign website that those experiences, along with building viewers’ confidence in his television jobs, led him to want to serve people at a higher level, which he turned to. committed now that he has been elected. Congress.

“Our communities are stronger when we work together, neighbor by neighbor,” Sorensen said. “I look forward to standing up for the people of central and northwestern Illinois and making sure they have a seat at the table. And I look forward to continuing to be a good neighbor.

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