- Associated Press - Saturday, January 2, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood of Illinois says constituents have “turned the page” since he was elected to replace former Rep. Aaron Schock, who resigned amid questions over his spending.

LaHood, a 47-year-old Republican, took Schock’s House seat after a special election in September. Since taking office, LaHood hasn’t missed any of the 208 roll call votes the House has taken, including his vote against a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill, the Chicago Tribune (https://trib.in/1UiLZrk) reported.

“Congress needs to get serious about reining in our spending,” LaHood said.

Schock, who resigned in March, faced criticism of his global travels and decorating of his Capitol Hill office in the style of the TV show “Downton Abbey.” A federal investigation is ongoing.

The office is now LaHood’s and has been repainted beige, and adornments include college pennants and a football helmet.

The scandal was “disappointing” for constituents, LaHood said. It reinforced the need, he said, to be surrounded by good mentors and smart people who “aren’t afraid to tell you no.”

Schock and LaHood know each from Peoria Republican circles, and LaHood campaigned for Schock when he was running for school board in 2001. LaHood said Schock is bright and articulate and worked hard for the district, and that his resignation was the best decision “for his future and the people of the district.”

“In some ways, I have sympathy for what happened to Congressman Schock,” LaHood said.

LaHood’s father, former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, represented the central and western Illinois district for 14 years. He frequently hears chitchat about his father, and also gets counsel from him.

Ray LaHood told his son to stay close to home and true to those who put him in office.

“You just never go wrong if you do that,” he said in an interview.


Information from: Chicago Tribune, https://www.chicagotribune.com

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