'14 campaign on
Leading Democrats want to get an early start in their effort to win a local seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
With the next congressional election 18 months away, some people might think it's a little early to start the campaign.
But they would be wrong.
Democrats have been working feverishly to line up a candidate to take on U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, the Taylorville Republican who narrowly won Illinois' 13th Congressional District last November.
This week, the party establishment hit pay dirt. The politically connected Ann Callis, the former chief judge of Madison County, announced that she will run for the Democratic Party's nomination to take on Davis.
Democratic power-brokers will be looking to clear the decks for Callis in 2014, just as they tried and failed to do in 2012 for Democrat Matt Goetten, the state's attorney from Greene County. Bloomington's Dr. David Gill crashed the Democrats' party by challenging Goetten in the primary, winning the nomination and then losing to Davis.
Gill was making noises about running again in 2014, but Democrats sidetracked that plan by offering him a good job in the administration of Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. Now all they have to worry about is whether University of Illinois physicist George Gollin will enter the race, forcing Callis to expend resources against him that she'd prefer to save for the general election.
This may appear unseemly to some people, and that's because it is. But Illinois politics is not for the squeamish. Horse-trading is often how political tickets are made, although seldom in such an obvious fashion.