SPRINGFIELD — Six candidates filed nominating petitions Monday to run for the 13th Congressional District seat held by freshman U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville.
Three Republicans, including Davis, are now officially candidates in the district that stretches from Champaign-Urbana on the northeast to Collinsville and Edwardsville on the southwest. The other GOP candidates are Erika Harold, an Urbana attorney and former Miss America who announced last spring that she would challenge Davis, and Michael Firsching, a veterinarian from Moro, near Edwardsville.
Firsching ran in the 2012 Republican primary election against former U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana. In that race, Firsching got 6,706 votes, or about 13 percent, in a three-way race. Johnson got nearly 69 percent.
The incumbent congressman dropped out of the race after winning the primary, however, and Republican county chairmen in the congressional district chose Davis as his replacement. Davis narrowly defeated Bloomington emergency-room physician David Gill in last November's general election.
Gill has said that he won't run again in 2014, but three other Democrats — Ann Callis of Edwardsville and George Gollin and David Green, both of Champaign — filed their nominating petitions Monday with the State Board of Elections.
A fourth announced Democratic hopeful, Bill Byrnes of Bloomington, did not file nominating petitions Monday. The filing period runs through Dec. 2.
In the neighboring 15th Congressional District — which includes much of Champaign County outside of Champaign-Urbana, a portion of Ford County including Paxton, and all of Coles, Douglas, Edgar, Moultrie, Shelby and Vermilion counties — both U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, and Democrat Eric Thorsland of rural Mahomet filed their nominating petitions.
Meanwhile, there were no surprises Monday when filing opened for state legislative seats.
Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, was the only candidate filing petitions in the largely Republican 51st Senate District west of Champaign-Urbana.
And in area House races — except for the 103rd House District where Urbana Democratic Rep. Naomi Jakobsson is retiring — only incumbents filed to run. Those lawmakers include Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, in the 101st District; Rep. Adam Brown, R-Champaign, in the 102nd District; Rep. Chad Hays, R-Catlin, in the 104th District; and Rep. Josh Harms, R-Watseka, in the 106th.
In the 103rd District, which includes almost all of Champaign and Urbana, Democrats Sam Rosenberg of Champaign and Carol Ammons of Urbana filed, as did Republican Kristin Williamson of Urbana.
Also Monday, state Sen. Mike Frerichs, D-Champaign, said he filed petitions with more than 18,000 signatures for his race for the Democratic nomination for state treasurer.
All of the candidates filing nominating petitions Monday will appear on the Republican and Democratic primary-election ballots on March 18.