A simple “for rent” sign on the door at 201 W. Morgan St. marks the end of an era in Jacksonville as the city will no longer be the site of a satellite office for its representative in Congress.
The signage came off the Morgan Street building, just off Central Park Plaza, earlier this month, but prior to that it served as a district office for US Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria.
The office remained, though unoccupied, until January, when LaHood’s new district moved north geographically. LaHood’s presence in Morgan County was replaced by US Rep. Mary Miller, R-Oakland, whose new district stretches farther west to include much of west-central Illinois.
The new districts were created by the General Assembly based on results from the 2020 Census.
During her campaign, Miller pledged to locate an office in Quincy, the largest city in the newly reconfigured 15th District. It will be the first time an active member of Congress has had an office in Quincy since the late 1980s when US Sen. Dick Durbin was still a member of the House of Representatives.
Erin O’Malley, communications director for Miller, said the congresswoman is finalizing office locations in Quincy and in Champaign County.
“Our goal is to open additional offices in the future across the district,” O’Malley said. “We will also continue our longstanding practice of holding mobile office hours in libraries and city halls around the district so that we can bring services directly to our constituents.”
Quincy City Council is working on an agreement with Miller to lease temporary space at Quincy City Hall. The temporary agreement would give Miller more time to find privately owned office space, O’Malley said.
While the move means the building that has housed a congressional district office since 2013 will be vacant, it is also the first time Jacksonville has not had a congressional district office since former US Rep. Bob Michel located an office in Jacksonville in the 1980s.
Since Michel, congressmen Ray LaHood, Aaron Schock and Darin LaHood have had district offices in Jacksonville.
The Morgan Street building was home of Jacksonville Main Street from 2003 until it moved to its present location at 222 W. State St. in July 2012. In April 2013, Schock announced his Jacksonville office was relocating to that building.
Schock resigned from Congress in March 2015 amid a scandal involving his use of public and campaign funds. Darin LaHood subsequently won a special election and kept the office Schock had opened. LaHood maintained the Morgan Street office until it closed.
The new 15th District crosses the breadth of central Illinois, but the 13th District pierces through the heart of it, encompassing large parts of Springfield, Decatur, and Champaign. The 15th District contains 35 counties including Morgan, Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Greene, Jersey, Schuyler, and Scott counties.
O’Malley said Miller’s casework team is available to help with federal issues, including Social Security, the IRS and Veterans Affairs, among others. Those needing assistance with a federal agency can find a contact form on Miller’s website at bit.ly/3CIaqh2.