Democratic Challenger Betsy Dirksen Londrigan is correct in some of her assessments and accusations leveled against Rodney Davis, the Republican incumbent representative for the 13th Congressional District
Davis should be willing to meet with his constituency more often. His refusal to take part in town hall meetings is problematic, and his matter-of-fact dismissal of those having different opinions borders on contemptuous and obstinate and is certainly not representative. We don't want our elected officials to hide, even from opposing viewpoints.
Davis' position on tariffs supports President Trump, but that position does not presently serve Davis' constituency.
Davis went from calling for Trump's withdrawal from the race after the release of the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tapes that contained Trump’s lewd remarks about women, to two years later, Davis standing by Trump's side at a rally in Granite City.
Davis' decision earlier this month to join six other Illinois Republican congressmen to call for an investigation into Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker’s efforts to get property tax breaks on his Chicago home is little more than election-time grandstanding.
However, Davis' campaign notes that he's considered one of the most bipartisan members of Congress. The Lugar Center, a public policy institution headed by former Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, ranked Davis No. 40 overall out of 438 House members in its 2017 bipartisan rankings.
Davis likes to correctly point out the 13th District was gerrymandered by Democrats. The district includes parts or all of 14 counties and stretches from the western half of Bloomington-Normal south to Edwardsville, a distance of 120 miles. To his credit, Davis turned the district from one he won with just over 1,000 votes in his first attempt to one-sided wins in the next two campaigns. National Democrats gave Davis' opponent no support in the 2016 campaign.
Millions of dollars have been spent trying to unseat Davis in previous campaigns. But this time around, while the Illinois governor race is correctly attracting nationwide attention because of the money being spent by the candidates, millions are also being poured into the 13th Congressional District race by both parties. Clearly both national parties view the race as winnable, with Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat, making appearances in the district in an effort to sway voters.
The fallout from all the outside cash being heaped on the Davis and Londrigan race is a campaign season that is built on nothing more than sound bites that portray a skewed view of both candidates.
What these messages lack is any substance on what the candidates will actually do if they are elected to address the issues both agree are important to Central Illinois. Things like health care, jobs and taxes.
What Davis does have that Londrigan doesn't is a voting record. From that, voters have an idea of what they can expect from him if he is elected to another two-year term.
We would actually prefer a candidate who is willing to go against the party if it means supporting the general consensus of the people who elect them.
While some of Londrigan's criticisms of Davis are valid, the Democrat is proposing few concrete and specific plans or solutions for how she would do things differently or alternative plans she would support.
In the end, Davis' experience outweighs Londrigan's enthusiasm.