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Former Judge Announces 13th District Candidacy
Republican Congressman Rodney Davis, just six months into his first term, is already facing a challenger: former Madison County Chief Circuit Judge Ann Callis.
In a whirlwind few days, Callis resigned last week and announced her candidacy today. The former chief judge said she's been in discussions with the state Democratic committee for some time about running.
It's somewhat unusual for someone to announce their candidacy so early, especially when the freshman incumbent has only spent six months on the job.
ABC Newschannel 20's Vince DeMentri asked Callis several times what Davis is doing wrong that's prompting her to run. It took three runs at the question to get this answer:
"Well, what Rodney Davis has done wrong, which is he's part of the problem of Washington and not part of the solution. I have a proven record of reaching across the aisle and bipartisanship to get things done. Results-oriented. That's how I am."
Callis admitted she doesn't currently live in the 13th Congressional District. She said she's moving to a rented home in the district in June.
The National Republican Congressional Committee out of Washington is wasting no time, already sending out attack e-mails about Callis. The heading of one says Ann Callis is "bringing the judicial hellhole" to Washington.
The Davis campaign reacted to the news by saying they aren't surprised that the 50-50 district has Washington Democrats recruiting candidates so early.
Click here to see Vince's entire interview with Callis.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today sent this press release regarding Callis' candidacy:
"Citing the need for a proven reformer who can get things done for middle class families in Illinois, former Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis announced today that she is running to represent Illinois’ 13th Congressional District in Congress.
"Even as Washington has failed to tackle the problems impacting middle class families, Judge Callis has stepped forward with reforms that have delivered for Illinois. She pushed for a mediation process that allowed families facing foreclosure a chance to stay in their homes. Judge Callis opened more court records to the public. And her work to create the first Veterans’ Court in Illinois led to national recognition from the Foundation for Improvement of Justice – all while returning thousands of dollars of her budget to the taxpayers.
"'Like many of my friends and neighbors, I’m frustrated right now that Washington is not listening, and it’s not delivering for the middle class,' said Callis. 'As Chief Judge, I’ve delivered reforms when Washington didn’t, and I’m running to deliver solutions for middle class families who are looking for good-paying jobs, and someone to protect Medicare and Social Security.'
"Judge Callis lives in Madison County. Her son Elliot graduated from Cornell University, chose to serve his country and enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he recently completed Officer Candidate School, as a Distinguished Military Graduate. Her daughter is a studying at St. Louis University to be a teacher.
"The Illinois 13th was one of the closest House races in the nation last year. Despite the lack of a mandate, Congressman Davis went to Washington and supported a partisan budget that would protect tax cuts for millionaires, end the guarantee of Medicare and raise Medicare costs on Illinois seniors."