US House seat in northwest Illinois takes on national importance

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The front line of this year’s fierce fight for control of the U.S. House of Representatives cuts straight through the river cities and rural communities of the 17th Congressional District in northwestern Illinois.

But on the streets of Rockford and Rock Island, the face-off for the open seat between Democrat Eric Sorensen and Republican Esther Joy King is being met by voters with stony silence.

The low-key nature of the high-stakes contest playing out in their towns comes despite the fact that national politicians are paying close attention to the election, which is considered one of a handful of races that could go either way among the 435 House seats on the ballot in midterm elections across the country.

The outcome, where the congressional seat that is currently in Democratic hands could flip Republican, could also have an outsized impact on whether Republicans take control of the…

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