Republican Congressman Rodney Davis leads challengers in fund-raising for the 13th Congressional District.
In his third quarter statement filed with the Federal Elections Commission, Davis, of Taylorville, reported raising $302,069 in the period between July 1 and Sept. 30. For the 2014 election cycle, Davis has so far raised a whopping $1,212,309.
Davis, who was first elected to Congress in 2012 faces competition in the March primary from within his party by former Miss America and Harvard-trained attorney Erika Harold of Urbana. Harold, who announced her candidacy in the spring, raised about a quarter of what Davis amassed in the third quarter at $72,619. Her contributions for the election cycle stand at $150,904.
By contrast, Democratic contender Ann Callis of Edwardsville, former Madison County chief judge, raised $240,868 - about $60,000 less than Davis in the third quarter. Her contributions to date in the cycle stand at $466,944.
Callis, who stepped off the bench in May to launch her congressional campaign, leads fund-raising among her fellow Democratic challengers - George Gollin and David Green, both of Champaign.
Gollin trailed Callis in net contributions, reporting $135,509 raised in the third quarter. He has raised $135,509 to date in the election cycle.
Green was not required to file his report online because he hasn’t collected more than $5,000 yet, he said. He also said he has raised about $1,000 so far and is still planning a strong campaign against his challengers as he prepares speaking arrangements and collects signatures.
The 13th Congressional District is considered one of the most competitive congressional races expected in 2014 as Democrats fight to gain a majority in the House. 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. The district has traditionally leaned Republican but through recent redistricting, Democrats see an opportunity.
A recent poll released by Public Policy Polling shows that both Callis and Gollin had statistically similar results against Davis. Gollin trailed Davis 41 percent to 33 percent, while Callis trailed Davis 40 percent to 35 percent. There was a 3.6 percent margin of error in the poll.
Gollin reacted optimistically to the results.
"Obviously, our fundraising and the polling are terrific results for our campaign," he said. "The political insiders have been selling the idea that only Ms. Callis could compete against Rodney Davis, and that's clearly not true. We have said from the start that this is not the year for incumbents or insiders."
The Davis camp also expressed being pleased with its fund-raising and polling results.
“We are extremely pleased with how well the campaign is progressing and the outpouring of support Congressman Davis has received from all corners of the district,” said Andrew Flach, Davis campaign spokesperson. “Throughout the next 13 months we’ll continue to talk about making Washington work for the families of central and southwest Illinois and the tough decisions we need to make today to ensure that our kids and grandkids aren’t forced to deal with the mistakes of our generation.”
Callis said she is encouraged by the response she is getting to her campaign.
“People are looking for someone with a record of putting results ahead of political games," she said. "That’s what I’ve done in Madison County.”
Harold said she is gratified by the response to her campaign.
"In just a few months, our campaign has received more than $150,000 in contributions, the overwhelming majority of which have come from individuals," she said. "We are gratified by the grassroots support we have received to date, especially given the tremendous efforts the political establishment has undertaken to derail our objectives of reclaiming our party from the political elite and changing the status quo."
Green said voters should choose a candidate based upon their stance on important issues rather than voting based on how much money a campaign raises.
“The voters should decide on the basis of information that is readily available on the websites," Green said. "And there is no reason why a candidate should be taken more or less seriously based on how much money the candidate has collected from wealthy people.”