Darin LaHood

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Darin LaHood
Darin LaHood official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 18th district
Assumed office
September 10, 2015
Preceded byAaron Schock
Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 37th district
In office
March 1, 2011 – September 10, 2015
Preceded byDale Risinger
Succeeded byChuck Weaver
Personal details
Born (1968-07-05) July 5, 1968 (age 52)
Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Kristen LaHood
FatherRay LaHood
EducationLoras College (B.A.)
John Marshall Law School, Chicago (J.D.)

Darin McKay LaHood (/ləˈhʊd/; born July 5, 1968)[1] is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 18th congressional district since 2015. A member of the Republican Party, he previously was the member of the Illinois Senate from the seven-county 37th legislative district (2011–2015).[2] He was elected to Congress in a special election following the resignation of Aaron Schock.

LaHood, a native of Peoria, Illinois, is the son of Ray LaHood,[3][4] the 16th United States Secretary of Transportation and before then seven-term U.S. Representative for the district his son currently represents. He has called himself a fiscal conservative focused on budget issues.[5] While Ray was a moderate Republican, Darin 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.[8] He graduated from Loras College in Iowa and received his Juris Doctor 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 currently serves on the House Ways and Means Committee.

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.[16]

Darin LaHood drew criticism from constituents for declining to hold an open town hall during the February 2017 recess.[17] 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.[18][19][20] 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."[21]

LaHood is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership.[22]

He is a member of the Republican Study Committee.[23]


LaHood voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[24] In a letter to the editor in the State Journal Register, LaHood stated that the bill would help his constituents save money and make businesses more competitive globally, including State Farm Insurance, John Deere, and other local businesses.[25]

Political positions[edit]

Domestic issues[edit]


LaHood believes that humans "play a role" regarding climate change and that there is "no doubt about that." Despite this, LaHood has a 0% lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters, indicating consistent votes against environmental causes.

Health care[edit]

LaHood opposes "able-bodied working men" from accessing Medicaid. He supports the full repeal of the ACA. Regarding single-payer healthcare, LaHood would consider a bill if it was "fiscally sound" and benefited his constituents.[26]

Russian inference investigations[edit]

LaHood supports the Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.[26]


LaHood opposes net neutrality and believes that revoking it has "zero effect" on privacy or data collection.[26]

Economic issues[edit]

Tax reform[edit]

LaHood supports tax reform, specifically around corporate loopholes. In April 2017, he stated he would not vote for any tax cut bill unless it was "revenue neutral" so it would not add to the deficit.[26] In December, LaHood voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which, according to the Congressional Budget Office, will add $1.414 trillion to the national debt.[24][27]

International issues[edit]


LaHood supports immigration reform, including shortening the time that it takes for people to legally enter the United States. He is "100 percent supportive" of expanding the number of individuals allowed to immigrate to the country.[26]

Social issues[edit]


LaHood has a "F" rating from NORML for his voting history regarding cannabis-related causes. He opposes the legalization of marijuana, even for medicinal purposes. LaHood opposes veterans having access to medical marijuana if recommended by their Veterans Health Administration doctor and if it is legal for medicinal purposes in their state of residence. He believes the legalization of medical marijuana increases its illegal use and abuse by teenagers and that it is addictive.[28]

Donald Trump[edit]

LaHood believes that Trump should release his tax returns and will vote in favor of requiring it if a bill is presented to the House. Regarding Trump's visits to Mar-a-Lago, LaHood believes "more business should be conducted in the White House than in Florida."[26]

Electoral history[edit]

Peoria County, Illinois State's Attorney General Election, 2008[29]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Kevin W. Lyons (incumbent) 25,548 55.57
Republican Darin LaHood 20,429 44.43
Total votes 45,977 100.0
Illinois 37th State Senate District General Election, 2012[30]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Darin LaHood (incumbent) 87,838 100.0
Total votes 87,838 100.0
Illinois 18th Congressional District Special Republican Primary, 2015[31]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Darin LaHood 45,490 69.54
Republican Michael J. Flynn 12,593 27.68
Republican Donald Ray Rients 1,246 2.74
Republican Robin Miller 16 0.03
Total votes 45,490 100.0
Illinois 18th Congressional District Special General Election, 2015[32]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Darin LaHood 35,329 68.84
Democratic Robert Mellon 15,979 31.14
Write-in votes Constant "Conner" Vlakancic 7 0.01
Write-in votes Roger K. Davis 4 0.01
Total votes 51,319 100.0
Illinois 18th Congressional District General Election, 2016[33]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Darin LaHood (incumbent) 250,506 72.13
Democratic Junius Rodriguez 96,770 27.86
Write-in votes Don Vance 7 0.00
Total votes 347,283 100.0
Illinois 18th Congressional District Republican Primary, 2018[34]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Darin LaHood (incumbent) 61,722 78.87
Republican Donald Ray Rients 16,535 21.13
Total votes 78,257 100.0
Illinois 18th Congressional District General Election, 2018[35]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Darin LaHood (incumbent) 195,927 67.23
Democratic Junius Rodriguez 95,486 32.77
Total votes 291,413 100.0

Personal life[edit]

LaHood lives in Dunlap, a suburb of Peoria, with his wife Kristen; they married in 2000. They have three children: McKay, Lucas, and Teddy.[36][37]

See also[edit]


  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. Archived from the original on July 9, 2015. 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. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  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. November 8, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  16. ^ "Committee Approves NITRD Modernization". Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. May 25, 2016. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  17. ^ Franke-Ruta, Garance. "Resistance Report: More than 1 million sign White House petition for Trump's tax returns, breaking record". Yahoo News. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  18. ^ Blanchette, David (February 24, 2017). "U.S. Rep. LaHood criticized for dodging constituents' questions". Pekin Daily Times. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  19. ^ Kwon, Esther (February 23, 2017). "Protesters Ask For Public Meeting With LaHood". News Channel 20. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  20. ^ Beigh, Derek (February 24, 2017). "LaHood, protesters: B-N town hall still possible". Pantagraph. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  21. ^ Jackson, Denise (February 20, 2017). "Protesters confront Congressman Darin Lahood about town hall meeting". 25newsWeek. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  22. ^ "Members". Republican Mains Street Partnership. Archived from the original on August 26, 2018. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  23. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  24. ^ a b Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  25. ^ LaHood, Darin. "Tax Relief: Promises made, promises kept". The State Journal. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  26. ^ a b c d e f Nightengale, Laura. "What U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood said at his town hall". The State Journal. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  27. ^ Patel, Jugal K.; Parlapiano, Alicia (November 28, 2017). "The Senate's Official Scorekeeper Says the Republican Tax Plan Would Add $1 Trillion to the Deficit". The New York Times. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  28. ^ "Illinois Scorecard". NORML. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  29. ^ "Cumulative Report — Official Peoria Board of Election Commissioners — General Election — November 04, 2008". Peoria County Elections, IL. Peoria County Board of Elections Commissioners. November 19, 2008. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  30. ^ "Election Results 2012 GENERAL ELECTION". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  31. ^ "Election Results 2015 SPECIAL PRIMARY". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  32. ^ "Election Results 2015 SPECIAL GENERAL ELECTION". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  33. ^ "Election Results 2016 GENERAL ELECTION". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  34. ^ "Election Results 2018 GENERAL PRIMARY". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  35. ^ "Election Results 2018 GENERAL ELECTION". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  36. ^ "ABOUT DARIN". lahoodforcongress.com. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  37. ^ "LaHood announces bid for Congress to fill Schock vacancy". Illinois Review. March 18, 2015. Retrieved September 12, 2015.

External links[edit]

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

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Trent Kelly
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Warren Davidson