UPDATE: Gill to seek Democratic nomination to challenge Davis

UPDATE: Gill to seek Democratic nomination to challenge Davis


BLOOMINGTON — Nineteen months before Election Day, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis has his first announced opponent in the 13th Congressional District: five-time congressional candidate Dr. David Gill.

Gill, an emergency medicine physician, Tuesday morning announced he would seek the Democratic nomination in the congressional district that stretches from Champaign-Urbana on the northeast to Collinsville and Edwardsville on the southwest.

Gill told The News-Gazette in January that he was "strongly considering" a sixth run for Congress in 2018. He has run as a Democrat in the past but tried to run as an independent last year before being removed from the ballot by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago.

Davis spokeswoman Ashey Phelps said the three-term congressman was more interested in issues in Washington, D.C., than politics in his district.

"Congressman Davis has always welcomed a healthy debate on the issues, but we're roughly 20 months from the next general election and he's focused on governing. He's working to tackle the major issues like fixing our broken health care system, tax reform, student loan debt and creating a more confident economy by investing in infrastructure and reducing unnecessary regulations," said Phelps.

Gill has run for Congress in 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2012. Only in 2012 did he run in the 13th District, falling to Davis. 46.5 percent to 46.2 percent. Independent John Hartman of Edwardsville got 7.2 percent of the vote that year

"I've long maintained that Mr. Hartman's presence in that race caused the majority of voters in IL-13 to be misrepresented," said Gill. "Mr. Hartman echoed my views on all the important issues of the day, such as single-payer health care, campaign finance reform, and aggressive action against climate change. We won on those and many other issues, but because the vote was split just enough, Rodney Davis was able to go to Washington."

In the previous races, Gill ran in the old 15th Congressional District against retired U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana.

Announcing his candidacy Tuesday, Gill said the presidency of Donald Trump "is a true threat to our republic. Our country needs members of Congress to stand up against the Trump agenda, and I intend to do so."

Two other Democrats who are considered possible opponents to Davis said they were unaffected by Gill's announcement Tuesday.

"Anybody who's interested in running has the right to put their name forward," said Rep. Carol Ammons, D-Urbana.

She said she has supported in Gill in the past, but is still looking into running for the congressional seat in 2018.

"We're doing research. We haven't decided," said Ammons.

State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, who has been mentioned as a potential Davis opponent, said he is busy with state issues.

"Right now I'm focused on this place," he said Tuesday afternoon in Springfield, "and getting a bipartisan budget passed."

Manar said he's "always had a positive opinion of Doctor Gill. I'm working with him and Senator (Kyle) McCarter on a bill that would lower the signature requirements" for independent and third-party candidates.

That was an issue for Gill in his effort to get on the ballot last summer as an independent.

Michael Kiser contributed to this story.

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sweet caroline wrote on March 07, 2017 at 10:03 am

Spellcheck a wonderful thing, News-Gazette.  You should try it some time.  What's Democration?

"Gill to seek Democration nomination...."


IlliniwekMerica wrote on March 07, 2017 at 11:03 am

First Ammons now the feared David Gill? 

The DNC is going to need universal background checks before they bring out these Big Guns. 

urbanaBound wrote on March 07, 2017 at 12:03 pm

"Davis spokeswoman Ashey Phelps said the three-term congressman was more interested in issues in Washington, D.C., than politics in his district.".


rsp wrote on March 07, 2017 at 12:03 pm

I personally am curious how he knows what issues are important to the people in "his" district. It's hard to call it his if he's afraid of us.

DEB wrote on March 07, 2017 at 4:03 pm

This should disqualify Rodney Davis from running for any office except the Presidency. Go ahead Rodney, challenge Trump.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on March 07, 2017 at 3:03 pm
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You know what they say, if at first you don't succeed, try try try try try again.

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 07, 2017 at 6:03 pm

People wonder how someone like Davis can win a seat at the Big Table.  Well until someone with a winning record and experience runs against Davis, expect Davis to win.  Davis has a "campaign donations" box full of PAC money.  Among his top five "campaign donors" is the Health Care and Health Insurance Industry.

Andy Manar has the experience, and winning record to beat Davis; but not the money.  The two who have expressed an interest will only assist Davis in his election, and they do not have the money either. Davis only has to spend money on attacking his opponent.  He does not have to convince the voters anymore than he has answering healtcare problems. 

Money, and paid media wins elections.