Darin LaHood

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Darin LaHood
Darin LaHood official portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 18th district
Assumed office
September 10, 2015
Preceded by Aaron Schock
Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 37th district
In office
March 1, 2011 – September 10, 2015
Preceded by Dale Risinger
Succeeded by Chuck Weaver
Personal details
Born (1968-07-05) July 5, 1968 (age 48)
Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kristen LaHood
Relations Ray LaHood (father)
Children 3
Residence Dunlap, Illinois, U.S.
Alma mater John Marshall Law School
Loras College
Profession Lawyer

Darin McKay LaHood /ləˈhʊd/ (born July 5, 1968)[1] is a Republican politician from Peoria, Illinois, who is the United States Representative for Illinois's 18th congressional district. Prior to being elected to Congress, he was a member of the Illinois Senate representing the seven-county 37th legislative district.[2]

LaHood is the son of Ray LaHood,[3][4] the former United States Secretary of Transportation and before then the seven term congressman from the district his son currently represents. He has called himself a fiscal conservative focused on budget issues.[5]

While his father was a moderate Republican, LaHood is considered more conservative.[6][7]

Early life[edit]

LaHood was born in Peoria, Illinois to Ray and Kathy LaHood, as the eldest of four siblings, and went to Academy of Our Lady/Spalding Institute there.[8] He graduated from Loras College in Iowa, and later went on to receive his J.D. from John Marshall Law School.[8]

Career as an attorney[edit]

LaHood was a prosecutor in the Tazewell County state's attorney's office and the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Nevada in Las Vegas.[9] On returning to Peoria in 2005, he took up private law practice; as of 2011 he is in the Peoria law firm of Miller, Hall & Triggs.[5]

Political career[edit]

LaHood ran for Peoria County state's attorney in 2008, losing to incumbent Kevin Lyons by a margin of 43,208 to 36,449. He was also involved [clarification needed] in several other Republican campaigns, including Bill Brady's 2010 campaign for governor and Dan Rutherford's campaign for Illinois Treasurer.[5]

LaHood was appointed to the Illinois Senate on February 27, 2011, at the age of 42.[5] He took office March 1, the day after Dale Risinger retired.[10] When appointed, LaHood announced he would run for election to a full term in 2012, which he won, running unopposed.[5][11]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

2015 special election[edit]

On July 7, 2015, LaHood defeated Mike Flynn 69%-28% in the GOP Primary to become the Republican candidate for Illinois's 18th congressional district, replacing Aaron Schock. He faced the Democratic candidate Rob Mellon in the September 10 special general election,[12] easily defeating him with a large percentage of the vote.[13] He was sworn in by House Speaker John Boehner on September 17, 2015.[14]

2016 election[edit]

In the November 8, 2016 general election, LaHood defeated Democratic candidate Junius Rodriguez by a margin of 250,506 (72.1%) to 96,770 (27.9%).[15]


LaHood was appointed to two House committees after his special election win in September 2015. He currently serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources[16] and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.[17]

On May 25, 2016, LaHood introduced legislation through the Science, Space, and Technology Committee that approved the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Modernization Act of 2016. The NITRD Program was originally authorized by the High Performance Computing Act of 1991. NITRD is the federal government's primary research portfolio on transformative high-end computing, high-speed networking, high capacity systems software, cybersecurity, and related advanced information technologies.[18]

Darin LaHood drew criticism from constituents for declining to hold an open town hall during the February 2017 recess.[19] Constituents from across the 18th congressional district gathered in Bloomington Normal and Jacksonville to request a town hall to discuss a variety of issues, including access to health care, immigration laws, and the freedom of the press.[20][21][22] LaHood spoke to the demonstrators outside the Farm Bureau building in Peoria who had come to push for a town hall, LaHood stated, "We live in a democracy, people may not always agree with me and that's why I have to go before voters like I did in November. I was fortunate to receive 72 percent of the vote in that election. But this is part of the process."[23]

Personal life[edit]

LaHood lives in Dunlap with his wife Kristen; they married in 1992. They have three children: McKay, Lucas, and Teddy.[24][25]


  1. ^ "Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Ill.". Roll Call. Retrieved June 17, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Illinois General Assembly - Senator Biography". Illinois General Assembly. Archived from the original on December 15, 2011. Retrieved December 6, 2011. 
  3. ^ Dahl, Dave. "Illinois Senate passes workers’ comp reform". Wjbc.com. Archived from the original on December 18, 2011. Retrieved December 6, 2011. 
  4. ^ "US Congressman Ray LaHood (Archived version from 2003)". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on October 11, 2004. Retrieved December 6, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Darin LaHood gets nod to replace Risinger on senate". The Register-Mail. Galesburg, Illinois: GateHouse Media. February 27, 2011. Archived from the original on March 27, 2011. Retrieved February 28, 2011. 
  6. ^ Dewey, Jim (March 31, 2015). "Darin LaHood Announces Candidacy". Quincy Journal. Retrieved January 16, 2017. 
  7. ^ Fitzpatrick, Jack (March 25, 2015). "Illinois GOP Finds an Anti-Schock to Replace Aaron Schock". National Journal. Retrieved January 16, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Felsenthal, Carol (July 22, 2015). "Darin LaHood Is Running as the Anti-Aaron Schock". Chicago Magazine. Retrieved September 12, 2015. 
  9. ^ Heath, Brad; McCoy, Kevin (December 28, 2010). "Prosecutor misconduct lets convicted off easy". USA TODAY. Retrieved December 6, 2011. 
  10. ^ McDonald, Karen (March 1, 2011). "LaHood eager to serve (Darin LaHood sworn in as newest state senator)". Peoria Journal Star. Peoria, Illinois: GateHouse Media. p. B1. Retrieved March 2, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Re-election assured for unopposed candidates". Pjstar.com. Retrieved June 12, 2015. 
  12. ^ Kaergard, Chris (July 7, 2015). "Darin LaHood easily wins GOP nomination for 18th District seat". Journal Star. Peoria. 
  13. ^ "Darin LaHood wins special election to replace ex-U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock". Chicago Tribune. September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015. 
  14. ^ "LaHood takes seat in Congress once occupied by Schock". Chicago Tribune. September 18, 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Illinois General Election 2016". Illinois State Board of Elections. 2016-11-08. Retrieved 2016-12-13. 
  16. ^ "Meet Our Members". House Committee on Natural Resources. Retrieved 2016-06-01. 
  17. ^ "Members". Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. 2015-08-25. Retrieved 2016-06-01. 
  18. ^ "Committee Approves NITRD Modernization". Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. 2016-05-25. Retrieved 2016-06-01. 
  19. ^ Franke-Ruta, Garance. "Resistance Report: More than 1 million sign White House petition for Trump’s tax returns, breaking record". Yahoo News. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  20. ^ Blanchette, David (February 24, 2017). "U.S. Rep. LaHood criticized for dodging constituents’ questions". Pekin Daily Times. Retrieved February 25, 2017. 
  21. ^ Kwon, Esther (February 23, 2017). "Protesters Ask For Public Meeting With LaHood". News Channel 20. Retrieved February 25, 2017. 
  22. ^ Beigh, Derek (February 24, 2017). "LaHood, protesters: B-N town hall still possible". Pantagraph. Retrieved February 25, 2017. 
  23. ^ Jackson, Denise (February 20, 2017). "Protesters confront Congressman Darin Lahood about town hall meeting". 25newsWeek. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  24. ^ "ABOUT DARIN". lahoodforcongress.com. Retrieved September 12, 2015. 
  25. ^ "LaHood announces bid for Congress to fill Schock vacancy". Illinois Review. March 18, 2015. Retrieved September 12, 2015. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Aaron Schock
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 18th congressional district

September 10, 2015 – present
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Trent Kelly
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Warren Davidson