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Davis Wins Re-Election In 13th Congressional District

Rodney Davis speaks
Jaclyn Driscoll
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, speaks to supporters Tuesday night.

Republican Rep. Rodney Davis has won a fourth term representing the 13th Congressional District. But this time, he'll be in the minority party in the House.

Davis defeated Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, a first-time candidate from Springfield. The seat was one of four in Illinois that Democrats targeted in their successful effort to win House control. The 14-county district includes swaths of rural areas as well as the University of Illinois and Illinois State University.

Davis, of Taylorville, credited GOP policies such as the tax overhaul for recent economic growth. Vice President Mike Pence held a campaign fundraiser with him in October.

Even without the 13th District, Democrats flipped control of the House. That means Davis will be in the minority in the House for the first time since being elected in 2013.

“I’m going to continue to do what I’ve done for the past five and a half years to put good ideas into law. That’s what bipartisanship is about … whether I’m in the majority like I have been, or if I go back and I’m in the minority party," Davis said Tuesday.

“Congratulations to Rodney Davis on his re-election victory tonight,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson Maddie Anderson said early Wednesday. “Rodney Davis is a hard worker who ran a tough campaign. Illinoisans rejected Nancy Pelosi’s liberal agenda and cast their votes for Rodney Davis’s record of results.”

Londrigan criticized Davis for supporting legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, saying her son had a life-threatening illness as a child and without insurance coverage the family could've faced bankruptcy.

Speaking to supporters in Springfield on Tuesday, Londrigan, who has yet to officially concede, had plenty of thank-yous to go around.

“To my family out there, thank you all for being the strength that holds me all up on a daily basis. I love you all. And to everyone else who’s here, who I also love so much, thank you for everything," Londrigan said.

With all 602 precincts reporting, Davis led with 51 percent of the vote. His lead stood at over 3,600 votes.

Londrigan won big in McLean County, taking 62 percent of the vote, according to preliminary tallies from the county clerk's office and Bloomington Election Commission.

Big money flowed into the district from out of state to support Londrigan. Davis himself leaned heavily on contributions from political action committees (PACs) to fight off Londrigan’s challenge. He also got help from some of the biggest names of Republican politics, including district visits from U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Londrigan won a five-way Democratic primary in March by a wide margin.

Rep. LaHood Re-Elected

Meanwhile, Republican Rep. Darin LaHood easily won re-election over Democrat Junius Rodriguez. LaHood, a Peoria Republican, led with 67 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting.

That's a slightly smaller margin of victory than in 2016, when LaHood beat Rodriguez with 72 percent of the vote.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
Sam is a Public Affairs Reporting intern for spring 2018, working out the NPR Illinois Statehouse bureau.
Jaclyn has an MA in Journalism from DePaul University and a BS in History form Monmouth College. Prior to reporting, Jaclyn was a social science teacher and department chair at Greenfield High School. Previously, Jaclyn reported for WICS Newschannel 20 where she covered a variety of assignments including courts, politics, and breaking news. She also reported at Siouxland News in Sioux City Iowa, the shared CBS/Fox television newsroom. Her internships included WGN and Comcast SportsNet in Chicago.
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