Callis trails Davis in third quarter fundraising; lands No. 2 on list of "candidate flameouts"

By David Yates | Oct 16, 2014

Former Madison County Judge Ann Callis failed to outraise U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis during the third quarter of the race for the 13th Congressional District and landed in the No. 2 spot on a list of so-called “candidate flameouts.”

Callis, who stepped down from a 19-year career on the bench last year to run for the seat, raised more than $400,000, about $163,000 less than her Republican rival in the third quarter, according to campaign finance reports released Wednesday.

As of Sept. 30, the last day of the third quarter reporting period, Davis had more than $1.2 million left in his war chest, giving him the edge in reserve funds over Callis, who reported having $545,881.01 on hand.

And on Tuesday, Callis found herself listed second in a Roll Call article titled “The 9 Biggest Candidate Flameouts.”

“Democrats rolled out the red carpet to recruit Callis to run in this down-state district — even bringing her to Washington, D.C., for Obama’s 2012 inaugural festivities. Democrats deemed Callis as their best recruit to take out … Davis … who won this swing seat in 2012 by less than 1 point,” the article states.

But for all of her hype, Callis’ campaign never got much traction,” it adds. “With a month to go before Election Day, Davis leads by double digits in his polling, and national Democrats have all but conceded the race, pulling their television advertising dollars reserved for the district.”

A poll Public Opinion Strategies conducted late last month for Davis’ campaign showed he was leading Callis 55 percent to 36 percent, with 7 percent of the voters undecided.

While Davis continues to rely on political action committees for financial support, campaign finance records show individuals—specifically those who listed attorney as their occupation-- supply the majority of Callis’ funds.

By the end of the last reporting period in June, attorneys for the Simmons Law Firm, an Alton-based firm specializing in asbestos litigation, had pumped $35,850 into Callis’ campaign.

And records show Simmons attorneys continued their financial backing of the former judge in the third quarter, with their contributions accounting for $27,300 or 14 percent of the $400,000 she reported receiving between July 1 and Sept. 30.

Attorneys for Gori, Julian & Associates in Edwardsville contributed $500 to Callis’ campaign in the latest reporting period, bringing their total for the year to $10,900.

In all, Callis’ third quarter report shows 152 attorneys contributed to her Congressional bid.

As for Davis, records show PAC funding continues to be a staple of the incumbent’s source of funding, accounting for nearly 60 percent of his total contributions this election cycle.

The freshman representative raised $563,984.43 in the third quarter, with more than half of that amount -- $333,284.43 -- coming from PACs.

“Today’s fundraising disclosures again show that Judge Callis is running a campaign fueled by individuals and families while Congressman Davis is overwhelmingly supported by the corporations and special interests that benefit from his voting record,” Callis spokesman David Miyashiro said in a Wednesday statement.

The campaign finance reports released on Wednesday will be the last ones voters will see before the Nov. 4 election.

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