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WEATHER ALERT: Severe storms expected late this afternoon and evening

Eric Sorensen declares victory in 17th Congressional District

Eric Sorensen addresses supporters early Wednesday in the Quad Cities. Sorensen is a former TV meteorologist vying to be Illinois’ first LGBTQ member of Congress.

MOLINE — Democrat Eric Sorensen has declared victory in the 17th Congressional District. His opponent, Republican Esther Joy King, called to concede Wednesday morning.

“This morning, my opponent Esther Joy King called to concede. I thank her for running, and while we disagreed on the issues, we both have a passion for service,” Sorensen said in a statement.

King’s campaign didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

With 88% of precincts reporting as of Wednesday morning, Sorensen was leading with 51.7% of the vote, or a 7,500-vote margin:

“From Day 1, we’ve said this campaign was about electing a representative who was known here, who’s from here, and who’s trusted here,” Sorensen said to his supporters early Wednesday in downtown Moline. “I’m going to work every day to represent the people in our communities, proudly.”

The 17th Congressional District includes parts of Bloomington-Normal, Peoria, Rockford and the Quad Cities. President Biden won this territory by 7 points in 2020.

The 17th District was considered a toss-up. It was an open seat, after incumbent Rep. Cheri Bustos decided not to run for re-election after a tighter-than-expected win over King in 2020.

Sorensen, a Rockford native who now lives in the Quad Cities, is a former TV meteorologist vying to be Illinois’ first LGBTQ member of Congress.

King, an attorney and JAG Officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, did not address supporters or the media Tuesday night at her watch party in East Moline.

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National Weather Service forecast map for June 13, 2024

Severe storms possible Thursday afternoon, evening and overnight

From the National Weather Service in Central Illinois: A line of t’storms will affect the area late Thursday afternoon into the overnight hours. Some severe storms are in the forecast, with damaging wind gusts and large hail. Stay weather aware and be ready to take shelter when storms approach.