Davis wins endorsement of two education PACs
SPRINGFIELD — Republican Rep. Rodney Davis has won the endorsement of the political action committees of the Illinois Education Association and National Education Association.
Two years ago, the two groups endorsed Democrat David Gill over Davis, and the NEA contributed $5,000 to Gill's campaign.
But for the first session of the current Congress, Davis earned a "B" on the NEA's legislative report card. It was the highest grade awarded to any Republican congressman from Illinois.
"Congressman Rodney Davis has the right values and vision to continue to speak up in Congress for educators and students," said Cinda Klickna, president of the IEA. "As a lawmaker who puts Illinoisans first, he understands the pressing issues facing our schools. He knows the important role education plays in preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow so that America can compete in the global marketplace. We look forward to continuing to work with Rep. Davis in Washington."
NEA President Dennis Van Roekel called Davis "a relentless advocate for students and educators (who) understands that the road to economic prosperity and security starts in our nation's public schools."
The IEA, a state affiliate of the NEA, represents more than 130,000 education employees throughout Illinois.
The IEA/NEA endorsement is considered a blow to the campaign of Ann Callis, Davis' Democratic challenger. She has been endorsed, however, by the Illinois Federation of Teachers.
"As the mother of a teacher and as a proud public school graduate who sent her kids to public school, Ann is proud to have the endorsement of the Illinois Federation of Teachers," said Calis spokesman David Miyashiro.
He said Davis "has played Washington politics by voting to cut federal education programs by billions and supporting the government shutdown that threatened local Head Start programs."
Although the IEA generally supports Democratic candidates, it is endorsing several Republicans on the ballot this year, including Judy Baar Topinka for comptroller, state Sen. Chapin Rose of Mahomet in the 51st District and state Reps. Bill Mitchell of Forsyth, Adam Brown of Champaign and Dan Brady of Bloomington.
Rose, Mitchell and Brady are unopposed; Topinka is opposed by Democrat Sheila Simon; and Brown is opposed by Democrat Matt Forcum.