Davis: 'An opportunity' for Republicans

Davis: 'An opportunity' for Republicans

Two years ago, Republican Rodney Davis sweated out his first congressional election, defeating Democrat David Gill by 1,002 votes.

But Tuesday, running for re-election in the 13th Congressional District, Davis coasted to a much easier win over former Madison County Judge Ann Callis of Edwardsville.

Unofficial returns late Tuesday night gave him about a 16-percentage point lead over Callis.

The district, which arcs from Champaign-Urbana on the northeast to the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis on the southwest, is considered approximately a 51-49 percent Republican district.

"This is a great night," an exuberant Davis said at a celebration in his hometown of Taylorville. "This was the night that you sat back and you thought, 'What if?' and the what if actually happened.

"We increased our majority to historic levels in the House, we picked up the (U.S.) Senate, we now have a balance of power in Illinois that we haven't seen in my (17-year-old) daughter's school career. This is an opportunity for Republicans to show that we can govern together."

He predicted that with Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress, "America's going to win because Washington is going to govern once again."

Still, for the third consecutive election, Davis failed to carry Champaign County, the largest of the 14-county district.

Two years ago, the 44-year-old Taylorville Republican lost to Gill in Champaign County by more than 11,000 votes, 57 to 37 percent. In March's GOP primary, he lost to Urbana attorney Erika Harold, 70 to 28 percent. And on Tuesday, he lost the county to Callis by about 6 percentage points.

"The way that Mike Madigan, John Cullerton and Pat Quinn carved up Champaign County, it's tough for any Republican to win that portion of the 13th District," Davis said.

But he swept the 13 other counties in the district.

For Callis, 50, it was a disappointing end to a campaign that started with promise. Early on, national prognosticators counted the Callis-Davis race among the top 10 House contests in the country. But the growing unpopularity of President Barack Obama and Gov. Pat Quinn in the congressional district, plus Callis' failure to ignite her Democratic base, doomed her campaign. She even ended up losing her home county, Madison, 58 to 42 percent.

Callis was unavailable for comment Tuesday night but issued a statement through spokesman David Miyashiro.

"While it's disappointing we came up short tonight in this tough year for Democrats, it has been inspiring to have met so many incredible people since I resigned as chief judge and entered this race. This campaign was always driven by real people in Illinois — not special interests or Washington insiders — and I'm truly grateful for every vote, dollar and volunteer minute contributed in support of our fight to reform the way Washington does business," she said.

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oasomera wrote on November 05, 2014 at 9:11 pm
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What a shame Callis didn't get the support she deserved from the Democrats, She would have done a much better job than Davis.