A Bloomington doctor who barely lost in 2012 in an effort to win the U.S. House of Representatives race in Illinois’ 13th District announced Tuesday that he will seek the Democratic nomination for the 2018 election.
Dr. David Gill was narrowly defeated by U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville by just over 1,000 votes, which was the second-closest U.S. House race in the country in 2012. Gill believes he would have won the seat had it not been for John Hartman, an independent candidate who earned 7.2 percent of the vote that year.
“I’ve long maintained that Mr. Hartman’s presence in that race caused the majority of voters in (the 13th District) to be misrepresented,” Gill said in a news release. “Mr. Hartman echoed my views on all the important issues of the day, such as single-payer healthcare, campaign finance reform, and aggressive action against climate change. We won on those and many other issues, but because the vote was split just enough, Rodney Davis was able to go to Washington.”
Davis has since been re-elected twice, including a convincing win over Democratic challenger Mark Wicklund in the November 2016 election. Gill made an attempt to run as an independent in 2016, but dropped out of the race after failing to get enough signatures to make it on to the ballot.
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“I’ve demonstrated that I have tremendous passion for improving the lives of all people,” he said. “That passion drives my career in medicine, and it’s what motivates me to become a leader in the U.S. House.
“I’ve made no secret of my differences with Democratic party leadership in the past. But the emergency we now face, with a President such as Donald Trump, is a true threat to our republic. Our country needs members of Congress to stand up against the Trump agenda, and I intend to do so.”
Gill is the former assistant director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. The 13th District stretches from Bloomington to the north to Champaign to the east and includes Springfield and Decatur before stretching to the Mississippi River to the west and dipping down into the metro-east and including Edwardsville and Collinsville.