“Why I am running: For two decades I was your weatherman…keeping you safe by telling the truth, informing, and educating…Because telling you how the weather impacted your jobs, schools, weekends, and yes, sometimes your lives, I earned your trust through thousands of broadcasts bringing you the daily weather and important updates about “once in a century” storms.
To me, being a meteorologist has always been about protecting our neighbors and our communities, values I learned from my family at an early age.” (Campaign Website)
BACKGROUND + EXPERIENCE
Sorensen was born in Rockford, Illinois. He earned a bachelor's degree from Northern Illinois University in 1998. Sorensen experienced workplace discrimination early in his professional life + overcame challenges as a gay professional television personality in Texas. He forged a successful career as an on-air meteorologist for over two decades.
Reflecting on his first job in Texas, Sorensen notes: “… I experienced discrimination in that first job. I was called into my bosses’ office with a copy of my contract sitting on the desk + the “moral clause” highlighted. I was told that I couldn’t be gay + work there. My experiences in Rockford + the Quad Cities were quite different — I was able to be out on TV! … I took a more active role in our LGBTQ community — serving on the boards of Clock, Inc + The Project of the Quad Cities, initiatives that aim to connect vulnerable individuals to health services.” (Campaign Website)
In his first bid for elected office in 2022, Sorensen ran for an open seat vacated by long-time incumbent Cheri Bousto (D) + defeated Esther Joy King by 4% in this Biden +8 district. His victory was especially impressive because he was outspent by $2,015,180 by the King campaign.
• Abortion is health care+ will fight for women’s reproductive health
• Congress should codify equal marriage
• Now is the time to act on climate change
• Sorensen supports the 2nd Amendment and the rights of responsible gun owners but also wants ghost guns + assault weapons to be banned. Emphasizes keeping deadly weapons out of the hands of violent criminals, domestic abusers + those that seek to cause harm
• Supports strengthening our health care system. Believes everyone should receive care that doesn’t cause financial jeopardy.
• Supports investing in education: We need to make sure schools + teachers have the resources they need to provide a fair, accessible + quality education for the next generation.
• Wants to encourage sustainable jobs so that future generations of Illinoisans have economic opportunities in their communities.
• Concerned about preventing the next pandemic: The federal government should take an active role in investing in preparation measures, including technical, medical + community responses.
POLITICS IN ILLINOIS
Illinois is one of the "big three" most Democratic states in the nation alongside California + New York.. Since the 2018 elections, all six Illinois statewide elected offices have been held by Democrats. However, there is a sharp division between Democratic cities, college towns + population centers + highly conservative but low-population rural regions, which continue to be dominated by Republicans. Illinois currently has 17 seats In the 118th Congress, 14 of which are held by Democrats + three by Republicans. Both US Senators are Democrats. Currently, all statewide elected officials are Democrats.
Following the 2020 Census + redistricting, a redrawn District 07 has a more Democratic partisan lean than the old district, according to The Cook Political Report + FiveThirtyEight. The Cook PVI (Partisan Voting Index) score for the old district was R+3, while the score for the new district is D+2. According to FiveThirtyEight, the old district had a partisan lean of R+5, while the new district has a partisan lean of D+4. The redrawn district includes parts of Rockford, Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, Macomb + the Quad Cities.
COMMITTEES + CAUCUSES
• Committee on Science + Technology
• Committee on Agriculture
• New Democratic Caucus
• Equality Caucus (co-chair)
• Heartland Caucus