Southern Illinois Congressman Mike Bost kicked off his reelection campaign Tuesday by launching a three-day, 12 county tour of the 12th District.
The Murphysboro republican was elected to the seat in 2014. He became the first GOP member to represent the 12th congressional district in nearly 70 years.
If re-elected, Bost says some of his priorities will be to protect and create jobs in the district and east government burdens on businesses. But, he says none of that matters if the U.S. doesn't make sure it can protect its borders from terrorists.
"This is a melting pot of people who emigrate from all over the world and that's wonderful. But, we've got to make sure that those people coming into the country, through the proper immigration channels, are vetted."
Bost says he has learned a lot and made some inroads into becoming an effective federal lawmaker. He says an example of that is his recent appointment to the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
"What that does is it shows that we've developed friendships. I actually was able to beat out a person with a whole lot more seniority for that one open spot on the T and I Committee."
Bost will be challenged in the November General Election by democrat C.J. Baricevic and either Paula Bradshaw or Sadona Folkner. These two Green Party candidates are competing in the March primary election.