Congressional race in 13th likely to be competitive and costly

By Ann Maher | May 6, 2013


Campaign cash has already begun pouring into a southern Illinois battleground for control of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014 - a congressional district that could feature a prominent Madison County public figure as challenger.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville), who was first elected to the 13th Congressional District in November, has raised$403,555 through March 31, according to campaign finance records.

And while his potential opponent, Madison County's former Chief Judge Ann Callis has not officially announced her intention to run for Congress, she has stepped down from her role as judge five months after winning retention to a six-year term. Callis told employees at the courthouse on Friday she would be resigning effective May 6.

During the last campaign cycle, Callis self-funded her campaign with approximately $144,000. She also self-funded previous retention efforts.

The 13th Congressional District is a successor to the old 15th Congressional District which has traditionally leaned Republican, but through redistricting it is considered more of a toss-up seat.

The district covers parts of Bond, Champaign, Madison, McLean and Sangamon counties and all of Christian, Calhoun, DeWitt, Greene, Jersey, Macon, Macoupin, Montgomery and Piatt counties.

In last year's race, Davis narrowly defeated Democrat David Gill by a margin of 46.6 to 46.2 percent, or 1,002 votes. Approximately $9.6 million was raised in that election, which averaged about $32 per vote.

President Barack Obama lost in the 13th by three-tenths of one percent. Obama had won in all five of the state's contested districts.

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