Nikki Budzinski
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 13th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Preceded byRodney Davis
Personal details
Nicole Jai Budzinski

(1977-03-11) March 11, 1977 (age 46)
Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (BA)
WebsiteHouse website

Nicole Jai Budzinski (/bədˈzɪnski/ bəd-ZIN-skee; born March 11, 1977)[1][2] is an American politician. She has served as the U.S. representative for Illinois's 13th congressional district since 2023, as a member of the Democratic Party.[3]

Budzinski worked for most of her career for trade unions. In 2021, Budzinski served as chief of staff to the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the Biden administration.[4][5]

Early life and education

Budzinski was born in Peoria, Illinois.[citation needed] Her grandparents were both union members: Leonard Budzinski, her grandfather, as a painter employed by the Peoria School District, and her grandmother as a teacher in the same district.[6]

Budzinski graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign[citation needed] and interned for U.S. Representative Dick Gephardt, U.S. Senator Paul Simon, and Planned Parenthood.[citation needed]

Early career

Budzinski started her career at the Laborers International Union of North America and the International Association of Fire Fighters before spending seven years with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) unions.[7] She worked for the UFCW as national political director in Washington, D.C.[8]

During the 2018 Illinois gubernatorial election, Budzinski led J. B. Pritzker's exploratory committee and was later a senior advisor to his campaign, focusing on political strategy, messaging and outreach. After Pritzker won, she was named transition director.[9]

When Pritzker became governor on January 14, 2019, Budzinski was appointed senior advisor.[10][11] She simultaneously chaired the Broadband Advisory Council (BAC), a state agency "charged with ... expand[ing] broadband access, adoption, and utilization" in Illinois. Budzinski resigned as senior advisor to the governor in March 2020.[12] She worked with John Podesta to advise the National Climate Jobs Resource Center and was Executive Director for Climate Jobs Illinois.[4]

In February 2021, Budzinski, recommended for the post by Podesta, was appointed chief of staff of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).[4] During her tenure as chief of staff, she helped set up the OMB's Made in America division. On July 16, 2021, Budzinski resigned to return to Illinois, saying she "felt it was a good time to come back [to Illinois] ... after getting things off the ground here".[5]

U.S. House of Representatives


Budzinski (second from left) with U.S. Representative Ted Lieu (third from left) in June 2022.


Main article: 2022 United States House of Representatives elections in Illinois § District 13

On August 24, 2021, Budzinski announced her bid for the Democratic nomination for Illinois's 13th congressional district. The district had been significantly redrawn to favor Democrats; it now included the core of Metro-East.[13][14] She won the primary in June 2022 against David Palmer[15] and the general election in November against the Republican nominee, Regan Deering.[16]

Committee assignments

For the 118th Congress:[17]


  1. ^ "Illinois New Members 2023". November 17, 2022. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  2. ^ "Rep. Nikki Budzinski (D-Illinois, 13th)". December 8, 2022. Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  3. ^ "Budzinski and Deering head to November". WAND. June 29, 2022. Retrieved 2022-06-30.
  4. ^ a b c Kapos, Shia (January 25, 2021). "Teacher Tension Deja Vu — Preckwinkle Fundraising — More Moves to Biden's Team". Politico.
  5. ^ a b Kapos, Shia (July 19, 2021). "Budzinski Leaving D.C. — Racism in High Places — 'Total' Police Burnout". Politico.
  6. ^ Alpert, Lynn (2021-11-08). "Nikki Budzinski looks to oust Rep. Rodney Davis, has growing union endorsements". The Labor Tribune. Retrieved 2022-03-09.
  7. ^ "Budzinski Speaks at NABTU Legislative Conference, Helps Launch Bipartisan Building Trades Caucus" (Press release). April 26, 2023.
  8. ^ "Meet Nikki". Nikki for Congress. Retrieved 2022-03-09.[failed verification]
  9. ^ Kapos, Shia; Hurst, Adrienne (November 8, 2018). "Pritzker taps big names for transition — Madigan strikes back at Rauner". Politico. Retrieved 2022-03-10.
  10. ^ "Illinois Governor's Staff & Transition Team".
  11. ^ "Broadband Advisory Council 2020 Legislative Report December 16, 2019" (PDF). State of Illinois.
  12. ^ "Pritzker insider Nikki Budzinski cashing in as a consultant since leaving state government". Chicago Sun-Times. 2022-10-21. Retrieved 2023-02-09.
  13. ^ Kapos, Shia (August 25, 2021). "It's Budzinski V. Davis, or Is It? — Pritzker's Power Play — Alexander County's Dubious Ranking". Politico. Retrieved 2022-03-10.
  14. ^ Alpert, Lynn (2021-12-27). "Illinois AFL-CIO endorses Nikki Budzinski for Congress". The Labor Tribune. Retrieved 2022-03-10.
  15. ^ "Illinois 13th Congressional District Primary Election Results". The New York Times. 2022-06-28. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-11-12.
  16. ^ "Illinois 13th Congressional District Election Results". The New York Times. 2022-11-08. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-11-12.
  17. ^ "Nikki Budzinski". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Retrieved June 5, 2023.