Betsy Dirksen Londrigan’s roots in Springfield go back generations, to when her immigrant great-grandparents moved to Sangamon County looking for a better life. Betsy's family has been part of the fabric of the community for years – teachers, small business owners, business professionals, farmers, and area leaders. She is deeply committed to serving the people in the 13th district and will fight for affordable healthcare and education while protecting jobs and the economy.
For Betsy, her decision to run is very personal. In 2009, her 12-year-old son, Jack, lay in the pediatric intensive care unit in critical condition. A rare, life-threatening illness that resulted from a tick bite left Jack in a medically-induced coma fighting for his life. After 24 days in the hospital, Jack slowly started on the long road to recovery.
Betsy is grateful for many things — the medical team that saved her son, the community that rallied behind their family — and the insurance that helped with the mountain of medical bills. She will fight to keep the protections we have in place and firmly believes that no family should be put in danger of bankruptcy because of an unexpected medical emergency and that people with pre-existing conditions need confidence they will be able to afford their care.
When Congressman Davis celebrated on the White House lawn with Donald Trump after passing a healthcare bill that has the potential to devastate the 13th District, Betsy knew she had to run. That bill would have huge consequences for the District – from healthcare coverage losses to job losses. In Congress, Betsy will always put central Illinois first, from standing up for access to affordable healthcare, protecting jobs, to educating our children, and defending Medicare and Social Security.
Betsy was born and raised in Springfield where she lives with her husband Tom and their three kids, Jack, William, and Kathryn. She attended Springfield High School and graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She was a Corps Member with Teach For America, teaching 7th and 8th grade in the inner city of Baltimore, Maryland.
After returning to Springfield and getting married, Betsy started and directed the alumni association for the University of Illinois-Springfield when it transitioned from Sangamon State University.
Raising three children, Betsy then worked as a self-employed entrepreneur – giving her firsthand knowledge of the challenges faced by the small businesses and self-employed workers who are the backbone of our economy in downstate Illinois. She worked for Senator Dick Durbin and during the last 7 years, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.
Over the years, Betsy has volunteered extensively with her children’s schools, church and a variety of local non-profit organizations. Since their experience in 2009, Betsy has worked with her family and community to raise awareness of the importance of children’s hospitals as well as significant funds for the Children’s Miracle Network and St. John’s Children’s Hospital to ensure that other children receive the same quality care that saved Jack.
Betsy has been active in Democratic campaigns for over 20 years and works to recruit, support and elect female candidates for state and local office through an organization she co-founded called Women Rising.