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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Area congressmen John Shimkus and Rodney Davis are the top recipients in Illinois of money from the National Rifle Association, according to an analysis by the group, which tracks federal campaign spending in politics.

Shimkus, whose 15th Congressional District includes parts of Champaign and Ford counties and all of Vermilion, Douglas, Edgar and Coles counties, ranks 69th out of all 535 House and Senate members in direct and independent campaign support from the NRA.

Overall, Shimkus' district includes 33 counties, nearly all of them rural and Republican. It was the most favorable to President Donald Trump in the 2016 election, giving him more than 70 percent of the presidential vote.

Shimkus has received $44,500 in direct support from the NRA in his 22-year tenure in Congress, plus $14,804 in independent support, which includes independent expenditures such as electioneering communications.

Davis ranks 89th overall of all senators and representatives in terms of NRA support, with $15,900 in direct campaign contributions and $29,369 in independent campaign support.

Davis' 13th Congressional District is more moderate than Shimkus'. It includes Champaign-Urbana and Decatur and parts of Springfield, Bloomington-Normal, Collinsville and Edwardsville. Trump won the 14-county district by 6 percentage points in 2016.

In the current election cycle, Davis received a $1,000 contribution from the NRA last October. The contribution is a tiny fraction of the more than $1 million in political-action-committee contributions the Davis campaign has received since Jan. 1, 2017.

After Shimkus and Davis, the top recipient of NRA funds in Illinois is U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Wheaton, with $32,216 in overall support.

Illinois' two Democratic senators, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, have received a total of $50 in financial support from the NRA, according to

In fact, the organization spent $3,470 in indirect support for opponents of Durbin and $6,422 in indirect support for opponents of Duckworth.

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, is also a prime NRA opponent, with $28,489 in indirect campaign expenditures going to her opponents.

While Shimkus and Davis rank in the top 89 for NRA financial support, they're far below the top recipients.

No. 1 is U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., with a grand total of $7.7 million in NRA support, much of which was for independent expenditures against his opponents.

Tops among congressmen is Rep. French Hill, R-Ariz., who has received a total of about $1.1 million in support from the NRA.


Tom Kacich is a columnist and the author of Tom's Mailbag at The News-Gazette. His column appears Sundays. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@tkacich).