Smart, ambitious, community-minded.
These are words those who know Regan Deering use to describe the candidate for the Republican nomination in the 13th Congressional District, an eel-shaped district that stretches from East St. Louis to Springfield to Decatur and is ends in Champaign-Urbana.
But as soon as her name comes up, something else is often whispered: “You know that’s an Andreas.”
His grandfather was Dwayne Andreas, the man who made Archer-Daniels-Midland Company the agricultural processing giant it is today. And no name carries more weight in Decatur.
“People look at it in different ways, but I tend to think most people look at the person, whatever his relationship to the Andreas family is, I mean, he’s his own person. She’s got it. proven in many ways,” said Macon County Republican Party Leader Bruce Pillsbury.
“I have invested in the first quarter of my campaign. Any future self-funding remains to be determined,” Deering said in a May 13 interview.
This investment took the form of a personal loan to herself, noted Paul Osborne, political analyst for WSOY radio, former mayor of Decatur and editor of the Decatur grandstand.
“Big Andreas was her grandfather. So there’s money and I noticed she loaned out $150,000 last quarter for her own campaign. You have to take that into consideration. If she gets out of the Republican primary, she’s probably going to have the money to run a pretty strong campaign,” he said.
Nikki Budzinski is widely considered the favorite to win the Democratic nomination. But David Palmer, a Champaign insurance broker, is also on the Democratic ballot. Besides Deering, there are three other GOP candidates seeking the green light from their party: Terry Martin, a Springfield reporter; Matt Hausman, a Champaign engineer; and Jessie Reising, a lawyer from Decatur.
Deering describes herself as a conservative who can work with people from all political backgrounds. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from Duke University and a master’s degree in teaching and learning from DePaul University.
“I’m a savvy curator. I’ve worked in my community as a problem solver. I advocate for success for all. And I feel like my experiences allow me to connect with people and to talk about their concerns,” Deering mentioned.
His experiences are varied. Shortly after college, she worked at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, then worked as a biology teacher at a private school in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.
Later, she owned a tutoring franchise serving central Illinois.
“I opened my own Huntington Learning Center franchise with a family member here in town,” she said. “And it was good to bring that service to Decatur. They had nothing to do with tutoring for elementary school students.”
The business grew and, with a state grant, provided tutoring services to public schools in Springfield and Decatur.
“We provided our own teachers, our own curriculum. I had about 100 teachers between the two districts, so it was a great opportunity to reflect on my passion for education and also help a number of But the state got a waiver of the No Child Left Behind contracts. And so that business ended in a day. It was really, really overwhelming. I provided a lot of jobs and great service to the community, but I couldn’t afford to keep the business going after we lost that stream of state revenue in one day.”
Deering, a Decatur resident, is married with three children. Her two youngest attend public schools in Mount Zion and her eldest attends school in Indiana.
Deering was one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Governor JB Pritzker who successfully sought to end the requirement for children to wear masks in Illinois schools.
“I was upset that my local school district was changing what was originally a mask-optional policy for the school year to a mask-required policy based on Governor Pritzker’s renewal of his executive orders,” he said. she declared. “I was attending my school board meetings. I was sharing the data and the science when it came to school-aged children and the numbers that were here in our county. And I didn’t feel like my rights until I made this choice for my children, so I joined a lawsuit, (attorney) Tom Devore opened up to families across the state.
Abortion is likely to be another central issue in the upcoming election, and Deering identifies as pro-life.
“I value the rights of the unborn child. I want to support women and families in crisis who may be dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. … You know, it’s making a lot of noise with the Supreme Court leak. The leak gives me hope that the problem will come back to the states where it belongs, in my opinion. … I was adopted myself. I was only a few days old. My biological mother chose life. I’ve lived my life to the fullest, and I always have in mind, I have a responsibility to do something with my life and value that choice.”
Deering said she voted twice for Donald Trump and supports the rights of gun owners. When asked if there were any gun control measures she would support, she said she would have to assess the legislation on a case-by-case basis.
When asked about her current occupation, she says she identifies as a “community activist“.
For example, she sits on the board of the Northeast Community Fund in Decatur, a ministry that provides food and clothing and works to empower low-income families. The organization also helps with utilities, housing, medication, and meets the needs of the homeless.
She helped raise more than $1 million for the organization, according to Jerry Pelz, the fund’s longtime retired director.
“When you’ve been doing this for as long as I have, you can tell the difference between people who really have a heart for what we do and people who are there because it looks good on their CV. And she had a heart for what she was doing,” he said.
Scott Reeder, Writer for Illinois Timereachable at [email protected].