Callis cruises to Dem victory in 13th District

EDWARDSVILLE — Former Madison County Judge Ann Callis, backed by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and many top House Democrats, coasted to an easy win Tuesday in her 13th Congressional District race against George Gollin and David Green, both of Champaign.

With about 75 percent of the precincts in the 14-county district reporting, Callis had 54 percent to 31 percent for Gollin and 14 percent for Green.

Gollin won the race in Champaign County, however, 53 percent to 37 percent for Callis and 11 percent for Green.

Callis was unavailable for comment Tuesday night, but her campaign issued a terse, two-sentence statement.

"I'm looking forward to continuing my conversation with voters about my record of working with Democrats and Republican to bring people together to get results, like creating the first Veterans' Court in Illinois and helping protect middle-class homeowners in Illinois," she said. "Illinois voters will have a clear choice between my record of protecting middle-class families and Congressman (Rodney) Davis, who voted during his first year in Congress to end the guarantee of Medicare and raise Medicare costs on Illinois families."

U.S. Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which backed Callis in the primary, also issued a statement, congratulating her on her win.

"Democratic incumbents have been fighting to protect good jobs, raise wages and grow the economy — and the people of Illinois now have an excellent opportunity to send another Democratic problem-solver to Congress from the 13th Congressional District," Israel said. "I especially congratulate Judge Ann Callis on her convincing primary win because she demonstrated her commonsense appeal and record of accomplishments, like standing up for our veterans and families facing foreclosure."

Gollin said he would support Callis in her general election campaign against incumbent U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville.

"No matter how hard our primary fight, we must remember that the differences between us as Democrats are tiny compared with the differences between us and the Republican agenda," he said.

In an interview, Gollin said he enjoyed the long campaign.

"I found it was interesting. It was fascinating. I found that I met lots of great people, and it was like going back to graduate school. I learned a lot of things from folks who are really experts," he said. "I really liked it. It's hard work, but I really liked the experience."

Green, a social-policy analyst at the UI Center for Prevention Research and Development, issued a statement before the polls even opened Tuesday.

"I entered the Democratic Party primary for U.S. Congress because I felt that each of my two opponents lacked an analytical, principled and democratic approach to addressing the severe crises that face our government and society. That impression was amply confirmed by their statements and tactics throughout the campaign, exemplifying what I have called the politics of 'evasion, obedience and triviality,'" he said. "I appreciate the efforts and votes of those who were convinced by my philosophy and views, and I accept the blame for not being able to reach and convince more voters than I did."

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