QUINCY -- A Quincy native now living in Switzerland has announced he will be a candidate in the 18th Congressional District in next year's election cycle.
Brian Deters, 44, owns a home in Morton and returns there a few times each year. He and his wife, Joni, and their 11-year-old twin daughters plan to return to Illinois next year.
Deters likely will face Junius Rodriguez, a history professor at Eureka College, in the Democratic primary March 20. Rodriguez ran for the 18th District seat in 2016, losing to U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood by a margin of more than 2-to-1 in the general election, and he has pledged to run again in the Democratic primary.
Deters teaches social studies at College du Leman, an international school near Geneva. He got that job after his wife was transferred to Switzerland in 2012, where she works as a price analyst for Caterpillar Inc. Before moving overseas, Deters was a teacher at Morton High School for 17 years and a soccer coach.
Deters said he made the commitment to run for Congress about three weeks ago. He asked for his wife's support, and she gave him "a big smile of support," he said. They have been working since then to get him on the ballot.
"I'm clearly concerned about the direction of our country regarding the political divide and overall cultural disconnect," Deters said.
During the election cycle last year, Deters, who teaches sociology, said he believed people were cynical because of problems in the media and how politics were "overly manipulated by big corporations and special interests."
Deters plans to focus on job growth, health care affordability and availability, improved race relations, gender equality, fiscal accountability, and the need for education reform at all levels.
If he wins the primary, Deters will face LaHood, 49, a Republican incumbent in a Republican-leaning district who is serving his second term in Congress. LaHood, of Dunlap, was first elected in a special election September 2015, after Aaron Schock resigned while under investigation for campaign violations.
LaHood, son of former U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, was appointed to the Illinois Senate in 2011 and won election in 2012 and 2014. He previously was a prosecutor in the Tazewell County state's attorney's office and the U.S. attorney's office in Nevada.