Ammons puts off decision on running for Davis' seat

Ammons puts off decision on running for Davis' seat

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URBANA — Although she had said earlier that she would announce by today whether she was running for Congress, state Rep. Carol Ammons now says she's going to wait three or four more weeks before doing so.

"I've made a decision actually to not make the decision yet," said the Urbana Democrat, who earlier this year said she had formed an exploratory committee to look into running in the 13th Congressional District. The district includes Champaign-Urbana, Decatur, much of Springfield and parts of Bloomington-Normal.

It is now represented by U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, who Wednesday morning was at the Alexandria, Va., park where a gunman opened fire on a group of Republican lawmakers playing baseball. Davis was not injured.

Ammons said she was "saddened" to hear about the shooting, allegedly by a Belleville man who was distraught over the election of President Donald Trump.

"Surely, I have always suggested that citizens need to be heard and shouldn't feel that they need to take extreme measures. I'm so saddened to hear of the extreme measures that this gentleman took," she said.

On Twitter, she wrote that she "was extremely relieved to hear that @RodneyDavis was safe and unharmed. He is a father, husband, brother, and our U.S. Rep."

Ammons, a two-term state representative whose House district includes only Champaign and Urbana, had announced in late April that she would visit communities in the 13th District to conduct "listening sessions" and gauge support for her candidacy.

"We have received, from the five sessions we've gone to, numerous invitations to come to other communities. I wanted to visit but time has run out for me to visit them," she said. "And so in our effort to respond to those communities as well, I'm going to extend this exploratory committee for another few weeks and then make the announcement at that point."

She said she thought it would "three or four weeks before we are finished with this process."

Ammons acknowledged that the ongoing state budget impasse, and House Speaker Michael Madigan's assertion that Legislature is officially in "continuous session," also is a factor.

"It is partly because the schedule for us to complete our legislative work is a little tentative," she said. "It is playing a part in our ability to get to all of these places in the district. I have to take that into consideration."

Ammons said she has tentative plans to conduct three more listening sessions, including one in Decatur, and maybe more before deciding whether to run.

She said she "hasn't been able to talk" to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, who lives in the 13th District and has gotten involved in past efforts to recruit candidates to run against Davis.

But she said that she is "enthusiastic about what I'm hearing from the constituents in the district. I have been overwhelmed with the kindness of the people telling me their stories, their interest in my public policy views. They have been welcoming at every single city I've set foot in."

There already are two official Democratic candidates in the 13th District — Dr. David Gill of Bloomington and Benjamin Webb of Normal — who have filed as candidates with the Federal Election Commission. A number of other Democrats are said to be considering the race.

The Democratic primary election is about eight months away. Candidates can begin passing petitions in September.

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Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes. wrote on June 15, 2017 at 9:06 am

So Senator Durbin is not returning her calls? aka   I havent been able to talk to Senator Durbin.  interesting

stingray1970 wrote on June 15, 2017 at 9:06 am
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If you're an elected official in the state of Illinois, you got the life!  You get paid to do nothing.  

787 wrote on June 15, 2017 at 10:06 am

She finally figured out that she has very little name recognition outside of Champaign-Urbana.

Even Durbin doesn't know who she is, or he doesn't care.


Annotator wrote on June 15, 2017 at 10:06 am

The reality of her situation.  She isn't a member of the Madigan controlled Democratic party.  She isn't an anointed person, as far as Democratic Chicago is concerned.  She isn't worth talking to by anyone in the party.  Durbin, if he does know who she is, that's highly unlikely, she isn't accepted as worthy, compared to Gill or Webb.