- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 7, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - High school teacher Robert Mellon has won the Democratic nomination in the primary race to replace ex-U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock.

Mellon bested Springfield school board member Adam Lopez after a campaign season where both largely focused on issues affecting the middle class.

However, the road to the Sept. 10 general election will be difficult for any Democrat. The central Illinois district is largely Republican. Mellon will face Republican state Sen. Darin LaHood, who won his party’s nomination.

Mellon tells The Associated Press he’s always considered himself an underdog and is ready for the challenge. He says he’ll continue focusing on middle class issues.

Mellon says being a veteran and teacher equips him to understand foreign and domestic policy.

Schock resigned in March after mounting scrutiny of his spending.

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