URBANA — Accompanied by a number of Champaign County Republican supporters, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, formally announced his campaign for re-election Monday morning at the University of Illinois College of ACES Library.
Davis, 43, will be opposed in the March 2014 GOP primary by Urbana attorney Erika Harold, who already has announced her candidacy in the 13th Congressional District.
As a sign of his backing in Champaign County — the largest county in the congressional district but also the home of Harold — Davis was introduced by Champaign County Circuit Clerk Katie Blakeman, County Auditor John Farney and state Rep. Adam Brown, R-Champaign.
"I'm always looking forward to any challenges, either those that I pick or those that I don't choose," he said of the primary contest,
Asked if he thought he could win in Champaign County, Davis said "that's not up to me, that's up to the voters to decide. We aim to try to send our message of success, of hitting the ground running in Washington out to every voter throughout this great district."
Davis also said he was "pretty confident" there would not be a government shutdown before federal government funding runs out on Sept. 30.
"I think that common sense will prevail on both sides of the aisle and with the administration," he said. "The days of brinksmanship and fiscal cliffs and artificial deadlines, they need to end. We've got to get back to a constitutional appropriations process to make sure that we don't hold the American people hostage like they're being hostage now."
But he said he was prepared to spend next weekend in Washington, D.C., to resolve the funding impasse.
"We shouldn't wait until Sept. 30 at 11:59 to resolve it. We ought to be able to sit down and come up with a good common sense solution," he said. "I've been a voice of trying to avoid all these impasses when it comes to government funding. I've talked about getting back to the regular appropriations process, moving bills in a constitutional manner through the House, through the Senate and have the president sign them into law.
"That's what we should do. Unfortunately, Washington has made continuing resolutions the norm rather than the exception."
Davis again criticized President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, calling it "a train wreck." He voted last week to defund it.
"We are doing the will of the American people by making sure that we put in a provision in to defund Obamacare," he said. "The president himself has already delayed the employer mandate provision and countless other provisions. He's allowed government to pick winners and losers, and who's going to have to follow the law that he wrote, and who's not. That is wrong, that's unfair and that's why we need to make sure that it's stopped."