Callis, Davis earn right to battle for 13th District

News-DemocratMarch 18, 2014 

Rodney Davis.

TIM VIZER — tvizer@bnd.com Buy Photo

— Ann Callis, the former Madison County chief judge, on Tuesday night won the Democratic primary for the 13th U.S. House District in south-central Illinois, according to The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, freshman U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, again won the GOP nomination for the 13th District, handily defeating challengers Erika Harold, of Urbana, and Michael Firsching, of Moro, the AP reported.

With 548 of 605 precincts reporting, Davis collected 24,191 votes, or 56 percent of the total reported. Harold received 17,495 votes, while Firsching tallied 1,891 votes.

Callis won by large margins over George Gollin, a University of Illinois physics professor from Champaign, and David Green, a policy analyst, also of Champaign.

The 13th District covers large swaths of Madison County, including Collinsville, Maryville and Edwardsville, in addition to 13 other counties cutting northwest across the state to Champaign.

After being declared the primary winner, Callis issued a statement in which she said she looked forward to "continuing my conversation with voters about my record of working with Democrats and Republican to bring people together to get results, like creating the first Veterans' Court in Illinois and helping protect middle-class homeowners in Illinois."

Davis said he looks forward to running against Callis because it would offer distinct "differences in our visions for America, and I look forward to the next seven-and-a-half months when we'll be able to talk about those differences."

Callis would bring a vision to American that "would return (U.S. Rep.) Nancy Pelosi to the (House) speaker's chair," Davis said. "I don't think the voters of the 13th District want that type of leadership in Washington."

Davis won a race that gained the national spotlight because of the presence of Harold, a Harvard Law School graduate, attorney and Miss America in 2002. Her campaign made headlines over the summer when a local GOP leader called her a "streetwalker" and later resigned.

Also on the ballot was Firsching, a veterinarian from Moro who made a previous unsuccessful bid for Congress.

Davis had the backing of most local Republicans and a larger campaign war chest than his opponents.

Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at mfitzgerald@bnd.com or 618-239-2533.

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