For Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, the decision to run for Congress is very personal.
In 2009, her 12-year-old son, Jack, lay in the pediatric intensive care unit in critical condition. A rare, life-threatening illness that started from a tick bite left Jack in a medically-induced coma fighting for his life. After 24 days in the hospital, and receiving his last rites twice, Jack slowly started on the long road to recovery.
Betsy is grateful for many things — the medical team that saved her son, the community that rallied behind their family — and the insurance that helped with the mountain of medical bills. That’s why she will fight to keep the healthcare protections we have in place and work to fix the parts that need fixing. She firmly believes that no family should be put in danger of bankruptcy because of an unexpected medical emergency and that people with pre-existing conditions should never be discriminated against.
In 2018, Betsy came within less than one percent of the vote of unseating incumbent Rodney Davis. Rep. Davis has voted in supporting of gutting coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, charging older Americans five times more for coverage than younger people, raising premiums for working families in Illinois. His votes for the Republican healthcare bill and massive tax cut for the wealthiest Americans have real consequences for our area – threatening coverage that families depend on, jeopardizing our rural healthcare providers and even endangering Social Security and Medicare funding.
Betsy is running for Congress to put the middle-class first, and to end a system that has served career politicians and their special interest donors instead of working families in Illinois. In Congress, she will oppose big tax giveaways to massive corporations and the wealthy that blow up our deficit. Betsy understands that labor unions help build Illinois’ middle class and will stand up for their right to bargain for fair wages, safe working conditions, and a secure retirement. And, she will fight any attempt to cut the Social Security and Medicare benefits that our seniors have earned.
Betsy was born and raised in Springfield where she lives with her husband Tom and their three kids, Jack, William, and Kathryn. She attended Springfield High School and graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has worked as a Corps Member with Teach For America and as a non-profit leader in our community. Following Jack’s illness, Betsy and her family worked to raise awareness of the importance of children’s hospitals as well as significant funds for the Children’s Miracle Network and St. John’s Children’s Hospital to ensure that other children receive the same quality care that saved Jack.