U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis has won re-election in his rematch against Democratic challenger Betsy Dirksen Londrigan. The Associated Press called the race around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Tuesday’s election was a rematch of 2018, when Davis narrowly beat Londrigan by 2,000 votes. Their rematch, which analysts considered a toss-up, ended up not nearly as close. Davis was leading with 55% of the vote, or a 28,000-vote margin, early Wednesday. That's with over 99% of the vote counted.
Londrigan conceded at around 2 a.m. Wednesday.
“I’m beyond thankful for each and every person who has volunteered countless hours of time and support to our campaign," she said in a statement. "At every turn when hurdles were thrown up, we figured out how to clear them and keep running strong. I wish we had been able to clear this last hurdle, but I could not be more proud of the campaign we’ve run, the issues we’ve addressed and the effort we’ve put into reaching out to voters. Democracy is not a spectator sport. It requires each of us to do our part, and that doesn’t stop. Elections come and go. Representatives come and go. The job of the American citizen is constant."
Davis was first elected to Congress in 2012. In his victory speech late Tuesday, Davis returned to familiar themes of his campaign – bipartisanship and healthcare.
“We're going to fight to make sure that the Democrats or the Republicans, if we're in the majority, are going to codify pre-existing condition coverage protections for every single American,” Davis said. “This isn't a Republican or a Democratic issue. This issue is a personal issue to me.”
Davis also promised to support the agriculture industry and get a national infrastructure plan approved. But he said his top priority is addressing COVID-19. He called Londrigan a “spirited opponent” and thanked his staff and supporters.
About the district
The sprawling 13th District stretches through Bloomington-Normal, Champaign-Urbana, and Springfield down to the Metro East suburbs of St. Louis. A mix of college towns and rural areas are within its boundaries that were drawn by Illinois Democrats after the last census, specifically to give the right Democrat a chance to win. President Donald Trump won the district by 5 percentage points in 2016, over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Londrigan, a former teacher and professional fundraiser, essentially has been running for the seat nonstop for over three years. She again made health care the central theme of her campaign, repeatedly attacking Davis for voting 11 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act with no replacement. Davis argued Obamacare has failed and “since both parties have been unable to reform our broken health care system on their own, it’s clear that we need a bipartisan solution.”
Davis touted himself as a pragmatic GOP House member who is willing to work with Democrats. He has won praise for helping to deliver funding for Bloomington-Normal projects, such as $13 million for the Uptown Normal underpass project and another $8 million for a planned Connect Transit transfer center in downtown Bloomington.
But Davis’ critics said he too closely aligned himself with Trump. Davis is an honorary co-chair of Trump’s re-election campaign in Illinois.
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