URBANA — Congressional candidate Rodney Davis has picked up the endorsement of another top Illinois Republican with state Treasurer Dan Rutherford pledging his support on Monday.
Davis, opposing Democrat David Gill in the 13th Congressional District race, earlier won the backing of former Gov. Jim Edgar. Davis has not been endorsed yet, however, by U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana, whom he was named to replace on the general election ballot in November. Republican county chairmen in the 14-county district of central and southwestern Illinois selected Davis in May over a number of other GOP applicants.
Meanwhile, both Davis and Gill said they would oppose any new restrictions on guns, even after the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting last week.
"I don't think there's any need for Uncle Sam to be enacting any new laws at this time," said Gill, an emergency room physician from Bloomington. "I think it should be up to the people at the scene, to raise questions when he's purchasing things. They can raise questions and talk to their local authorities. But I don't know that there's any reason or need for Uncle Sam to get any more involved than he already is."
Davis said "we have enough laws on the books to deal with firearms and ammunition. I'm a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. We could pass a bill regulating every part of firearms that would be 2,700 pages like Obamacare and it still wouldn't have prevented that tragedy in Colorado. I think we need to enforce the laws we have."
Rutherford, elected state treasurer in 2010 after serving in the Legislature, said Davis would be "an effective, common-sense congressman for central Illinois."
"The deep reason I am doing this," he said, "is that I want to have another partner in the United States government that will help bring about what I think America needs today. And that is some fiscal sanity. We don't need further debt. We don't need further tax increases. We need to work on improving the business climate in the United States of America and in the state of Illinois."
In a brief news conference at the Birkey's Farm Store in Urbana, Davis also said he favors making all of the Bush-era tax cuts permanent and wants Congress to act on an updated farm bill.
"I think it's a failure of both parties to address a very important problem. It's indicative of the polarization of politics in Washington right now," Davis said of the legislative gridlock on the farm bill. "Let's get Washington's spending reprioritized to actually spend money on the things that government should spend money on like roads and bridges, and a strengthened crop insurance program so farmers have the tools they need to survive."
Davis, of Taylorville, said he would be willing, if elected in November, to push the Republican House leadership to work with Democrats on a new farm bill.
"I want (House Speaker) John Boehner and the House Republicans to get together with the Democrats and I want to see a comprehensive farm bill passed that includes the cornerstone of a strengthened crop insurance program," he said. "I'm not afraid to tell Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats when they are wrong and I'm also not afraid to stand up and tell John Boehner and the Republicans when they're wrong. This is one of those times that's important in American history to come together and actually accomplish something."