Rodney Lee Davis (born January 5, 1970)[1] is an American Republican politician who has been the U.S. Representative for Illinois’s 13th congressional district since 2013.

Early life and education

Davis was born in Des Moines, Iowa.[1] He graduated from Millikin University in 1992 with a degree in political science.[2]

Early political career

In 1996, he lost a race for the state legislature.[3] In 1998, Davis managed Illinois Congressman John Shimkus‘s first reelection campaign. After the successful campaign, he accepted a position on Shimkus’s congressional staff.[4]

In 2000, Davis lost his campaign for mayor of Taylorville, Illinois.[3] Davis served as Shimkus’s projects director while running for Congress.[5]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2012

On May 19, 2012, the Republican County Chairmen for the 14 Illinois counties the 13th district comprises nominated Davis as the Republican candidate for Congress. This district had previously been the 15th, represented by six-term incumbent Republican Tim Johnson. Johnson had announced in April that he would not seek reelection, just days after winning the Republican primary. Other finalists for the nomination were Jerry Clarke, chief of staff to fellow U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren and Johnson’s former chief of staff; Erika Harold, a lawyer and winner of Miss America in 2003; and Kathy Wassink, a businesswoman.[5] Davis was coaching his sons’ little league baseball game when he was informed that he had been nominated.[6] His home in Taylorville had previously been in Shimkus’s 19th District (which had been renumbered as the 15th). But the new 13th had absorbed much of the old 19th’s northern portion, including Taylorville.

In the general election, Davis defeated Democratic nominee David M. Gill by 1,002 votes (0.3%). Independent candidate John Hartman received around 21,000 votes (7.2%).[7]

2014

On June 13, 2013, former Miss America Erika Harold announced she would run against Davis in the March 18 Republican primary.[8]

The Republican field included Davis, Harold, and Michael Firsching.[9] Davis won the primary with 55% of the vote.[9]

Davis faced Democratic nominee Ann Callis in the November 4 general election.[10] He was reportedly a top target for the Democrats[11] but won with 59% of the vote.[12][13]

2016

Davis was reelected in 2016, defeating Ethan Vandersand in the primary and Democratic nominee Mark Wicklund and independent David Gill in the general election.[14] He received 59.7% of the vote.[15]

2018

On March 20, 2018, Betsy Londrigan won the Democratic primary in District 13 with over 45% of the vote, beating Erik Jones, David Gill, Jonathan Ebel, and Angel Sides.[16]

In May 2018, the American Federation of Government Employees endorsed Davis for reelection. AFGE District 7 National Vice President Dorothy James said, “We hope that Representative Davis will continue his good work on Capitol Hill for years to come and are happy to announce our support for him today.”[17]

On November 6, Davis was reelected, 50.7% to 49.3%, in the narrowest election of his career. He lost the district’s shares of Champaign, McLean, and Sangamon counties, but carried Christian and Macon Counties. His margins in both far exceeded his overall margin of 2,058 votes.[18]

During a debate, Davis said that The Washington Post fact-checker had found Londrigan’s claims about the impact of Obamacare’s repeal on preexisting conditions to be false. The Washington Post fact-checker responded, “Republicans are twisting an unrelated fact check and are misleading voters.”[19]

2020

Davis ran for a fifth term and was unopposed in the Republican primary. Londrigan ran again, and easily won the Democratic primary. Although most forecasters considered the race a tossup due to the close margin in 2018, Davis won reelection by 9 points.[20] His larger margin of victory was attributed to both an increase in turnout from the district’s Republican-leaning rural counties, and a decrease in the district’s college campuses. Londrigan attempted to tie Davis to President Trump, and he linked her to Illinois House Speaker and State Democratic Party Chair Mike Madigan, who was broadly unpopular.[citation needed]

Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign named Davis one of four “honorary state chairs.”[21]

Tenure

Davis introduced the Hire More Heroes Act of 2013 into the House on November 13, 2013. The bill would allow employers to exclude veterans receiving health insurance from the United States Department of Defense or the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs from their list of employees.[22][23] This would have had the effect of keeping their list of employees shorter, allowing some small businesses to fall underneath the 50 full-time employees line that would require them to provide their employees with healthcare under the Affordable Care Act.[23][24] Davis said that the bill “gives our small businesses another incentive to hire veterans, which helps to address the increasing number of unemployed veterans, while providing them with some relief from Obamacare.”[24]

Davis voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.[25] He voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.[26]

Davis voted for H.J.Res.59 – Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014, which resulted in the Government Shutdown of 2013. After the vote, Politico reported that Davis also intended to vote for a bill that would end the shutdown, stressing that an agreement needed to be made and that “Like most of those I represent, I remain opposed to Obamacare, but a government shutdown is absolutely unacceptable.”[27][28][29][30][31]

Davis voted to lift a ban on travel to Cuba.[32] In June 2016, he cast the deciding vote on a bill to continue to allow undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to join the U.S. military. The program would give those who serve a quicker pathway to citizenship.[32]

During the 115th Congress, Davis was a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership and chaired the Republican Main Street Caucus.[33]

During the presidency of Donald Trump, Davis voted in line with Trump’s stated position 88.8% of the time.[34] As of September 2021, Davis had voted in line with Joe Biden‘s stated position 25.7% of the time.[35]

On May 4, 2017, Davis voted again to repeal the Affordable Care Act and pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA).[36][37]

Davis voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[38] He said the bill would improve the economy without increasing the deficit, and that Americans would see “more money in the pockets” by February 2018 as a result of the bill.[39]

In June 2018, Davis said, “we’ve got to stop this politicizing everything like dinner”, adding, “Donald Trump was elected, in my opinion, because of this move toward making everything politically correct in this country.”[40]

On December 18, 2019, Davis voted against both articles of impeachment against Trump.[41]

On January 6, 2021, Davis was at the U.S. Capitol to certify the Electoral College vote count when Trump supporters stormed the building. Davis and his staff went into hiding under police lockdown for over four hours during the attack.[42] After the Capitol was secure and Congress resumed session, Davis certified the election without objection.[43] As a result of the attack, Trump was impeached a second time. Davis voted against impeachment, saying, “there must be accountability for leaders who deliberately misled the public, but I fear that without thoughtful and clear-eyed leadership from both sides of the aisle, we are in danger of further violence and political unrest.”[44] In the wake of the attack, metal detectors were placed outside the House chamber. Davis objected to them.[45][46]

On May 19, 2021, Davis was one of 35 Republicans who joined all Democrats in voting to approve legislation to establish the January 6 commission meant to investigate the storming of the U.S. Capitol.[47]

In July 2021, Davis was among five Republicans selected by Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to serve on the Select Committee on the January 6 Attack on the Capitol. After Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two of the selections, McCarthy pulled all five, including Davis.[48][49]

Committee memberships

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Cannabis

Davis has a “B” rating from NORML for his voting record on cannabis-related causes. He supports veterans having access to medical marijuana if recommended by their Veterans Health Administration doctor and if it is legal for medicinal purposes in their state. He supports industrial hemp farming and medical marijuana research.[54][failed verification]

Economy

In April 2018, Davis expressed concern about the impact of proposed tariffs on Illinois soybean farmers and other Illinois agricultural workers, but was glad that Trump had given “a lot of free rein” to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Davis highlighted unfair trade practices by China and noted the adverse effect on the domestic steel industry.[55] In June, he reiterated concern about some of Trump’s proposed tariffs’ impact on his constituents as well as their impact on certain foreign countries. Although he felt “the president was right to actually address the steel discrepancy that he saw from countries like China”, he wished that Trump “would focus on…actors like China rather than punishing our allies”.[56]

Gun policy

In March 2018, in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, Davis said the shooting could have been prevented if the perpetrator had been charged with a felony for bringing a gun to school earlier. Davis said he believed more funding should be directed to mental health programs and that loopholes in background checks should be closed, but that he did not see banning guns as a solution.[57]

Immigration

In June 2018, Davis said he hoped to co-sponsor a bill that would address the separation of adult illegal aliens at the Mexican border from the children accompanying them. He expressed optimism that the Congress could come up with a compromise on the issue.[40]

Abortion

Davis opposes abortion except in cases of rape or incest or to protect the health of the mother.[58]

Electoral history

2012 Illinois’s 13th congressional district election[59]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Rodney Davis 137,034 46.55
DemocraticDavid M. Gill136,03246.21
IndependentJohn Hartman21,3197.24
Total votes294,385 100.0
2014 Illinois’s 13th congressional district election – Republican primary[60]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Rodney Davis (incumbent) 27,816 54.63
RepublicanErika Harold20,95141.15
RepublicanMichael Firsching2,1474.22
Total votes50,914 100.0
2014 Illinois’s 13th congressional district election[61]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Rodney Davis (incumbent) 123,337 58.66
DemocraticAnn E. Callis86,93541.34
Total votes210,272 100.0
2016 Illinois’s 13th congressional district election – Republican primary[62]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Rodney Davis (incumbent) 71,447 76.95
RepublicanEthan Vandersand21,40123.05
Total votes92,848 100.0
2016 Illinois’s 13th congressional district election[63]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Rodney Davis (incumbent) 187,583 59.66
DemocraticMark D. Wicklund126,81140.34
Total votes314,394 100.0
2018 Illinois’s 13th congressional district election[64]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Rodney Davis (incumbent) 136,516 50.38
DemocraticBetsy Dirksen Londrigan134,45849.62
Write-in votesThomas J. Kuna (Jacob)70.00
Total votes270,981 100.0

Personal life

Davis and his wife Shannon wed in 1995, and live in Taylorville, Illinois.[65] They have three children.[5]

Davis coached Taylorville Junior Football, is a member of the Taylorville Optimist Club, and serves on the Christian County Senior Center’s board of directors.[1] He plays catcher for the GOP team in the Congressional Baseball Game.[66][67]

On August 5, 2020, Davis was diagnosed with COVID-19.[68]

References

  1. ^ a b c “Rodney Davis’ Biography”. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  2. ^ “Congressman Rodney Davis ’92 returns to Millikin as part of Constitution Week”. Millikin University. September 19, 2017.
  3. ^ a b “DAVIS profile”. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  4. ^ Gangitano, Alex (June 23, 2016). “Staffer Member Duo Turned Catcher Pitcher Teammates”. Roll Call. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Petty, Allison (May 19, 2012). “GOP picks Rodney Davis to face Gill”. Bloomington Pantagraph.
  6. ^ “GOP chooses Davis for US Rep. Tim Johnson’s seat”. Associated Press. May 19, 2012.
  7. ^ “Ballots Cast”. Illinois State Board of Election. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  8. ^ Last, Jonathan V. “Miss America vs. Mr. Incumbent”. The Weekly Standard.
  9. ^ a b Official Illinois State Board of Elections Results Archived January 28, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  10. ^ Cahn, Emily (March 18, 2014). “Ann Callis, Rodney Davis to Face Off in Targeted Illinois District”. Roll Call. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  11. ^ Camia, Catalina. Ex-Miss America Erika Harold begins campaign for Congress, USA Today, June 4, 2013; retrieved March 3, 2015.
  12. ^ “Illinois General Election 2014”. Illinois State Board of Elections. November 4, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  13. ^ Kacich, Tom “Davis: ‘An Opportunity’ for Republicans”, The News Gazette, November 5, 2014; retrieved May 27, 2016.
  14. ^ Kacich, Tom (July 19, 2016). “Davis has monumental advantage in campaign money”. The News-Gazette. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  15. ^ “2016 Illinois House Election Results”. Politico. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  16. ^ “Illinois’ 13th Congressional District election, 2018 – Ballotpedia”. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  17. ^ AFGE Endorses Rep. Rodney Davis for Reelection; PR Newswire; May 22, 2018; https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/afge-endorses-rep-rodney-davis-for-reelection-300653010.html
  18. ^ 2018 election results from CNN
  19. ^ “Analysis | These Republicans are misleading voters about our Obamacare fact checks”. Washington Post. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  20. ^ https://www.wglt.org/post/how-rep-rodney-davis-won-so-handily-13th-congressional-district
  21. ^ Pearson, Rick (October 2, 2019). “U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis among ‘honorary state chairs’ for Trump reelection”. Herald-Review.com. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  22. ^ “H.R. 3474 – Summary”. United States Congress. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  23. ^ a b Hultgren, Randy (January 13, 2014). “Let’s Give Jobs to Veterans: Hultgren Supports Hire More Heroes Act”. Osqego Patch. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  24. ^ a b Kasperowicz, Pete (March 10, 2014). “GOP eyes Dem help on ObamaCare”. The Hill. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  25. ^ Mike Fitzgerald (December 3, 2013). “Health care glitches put twist on local congressional races”. BND.com. Archived from the original on April 16, 2014.
  26. ^ Bill Lambrecht (May 20, 2013). “In Illinois, Davis preparing for marathon race for Congress”. St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  27. ^ “FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 504”. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  28. ^ “H.J.Res.59 – Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014”. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  29. ^ ISENSTADT, ALEX (October 1, 2013). “Vulnerable Republicans: End the shutdown”. Politico. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  30. ^ “Legislation-Joint Resolution – Concurrence Vote Passed (House) (228-201) – Sept. 30, 2013”. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  31. ^ “How Rodney Davis voted on key votes”. Washington Post. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  32. ^ a b Raasch, Chuck (July 4, 2016). “Rep. Rodney Davis is a Republican with an occasional twist”. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  33. ^ Vas, Nicole (November 9, 2017). “Is there room for another GOP caucus? Main Street chairman says yes”. TheHill. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  34. ^ Bycoffe, Aaron (January 30, 2017). “Tracking Rodney Davis In The Age Of Trump”. FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  35. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (April 22, 2021). “Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?”. FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  36. ^ “How the House voted to pass the GOP health-care bill”. Washington Post. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  37. ^ CNN Staff. “How every member voted on health care bill”. CNN. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  38. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). “How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill”. The New York Times. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  39. ^ Wolfe, Doug. “Davis: Tax cut money will not come from Medicare”. WAND17. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  40. ^ a b Rep. Davis “optimistic” House will vote on family separation policy; MSCNBC; June 24, 2018; https://www.msnbc.com/kasie-dc/watch/rep-davis-optimistic-house-will-vote-on-family-separation-policy-1263091779556
  41. ^ “Here’s how the House voted on Trump’s impeachment”. POLITICO. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  42. ^ Beckett, Donnette (January 6, 2021). “Watch now: Rep. Rodney Davis on Capitol raid: ‘A sad day for our country. The Pantagraph. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  43. ^ Szalinski, Ben (January 7, 2021). “How Illinois’ Congressional delegation voted on Electoral College objections”. The State Journal-Register. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  44. ^ Petty, Allison (January 13, 2021). “In his own words: Why U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis voted against Trump impeachment”. Herald Review. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  45. ^ “Congressman Rodney Davis among Republicans angry about U.S. House metal detectors,” Daily Pantagraph/Associated Press”. January 12, 2021.
  46. ^ Republican Illinois congressman uses expletive to describe extra security at Capitol,” Belleville News-Democrat”. January 13, 2021.
  47. ^ LeBlanc, Paul (May 19, 2021). “Here are the 35 House Republicans who voted for the January 6 commission”. CNN. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  48. ^ Grayer, Annie; Zanona, Melanie. “Jim Jordan Among 5 House Republicans Selected by McCarthy for January 6 Select Committee”. CNN. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  49. ^ Grayer, Annie; Herb, Jeremy. “McCarthy Pulls his 5 GOP Members from 1/6 Committee After Pelosi Rejects 2 of his Picks”. CNN. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  50. ^ “Member Profiles: Rodney Davis”. Office of the Clerk, US House of Representatives. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  51. ^ “90 Current Climate Solutions Caucus Members”. Citizen´s Climate Lobby. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  52. ^ Vas, Nicole (November 9, 2017). “Is there room for another GOP caucus? Main Street chairman says yes”. TheHill. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  53. ^ “Members of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus”. Veterinary Medicine Caucus. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  54. ^ “Illinois Scorecard”. NORML. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  55. ^ Davis Discusses Unfair Trade with China on CNN; CNN; April 6, 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qI4P4YSPE2A
  56. ^ Rep. Davis Wants Trump to Focus on ‘Bad Actors’ Like China; Bloomberg; June 27, 2018; https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2018-06-27/rep-davis-wants-trump-to-focus-on-bad-actors-like-china-video
  57. ^ Schlenker, Charlie; Rodney Davis Stands Firm For Second Amendment; NPR; March 29, 2018; http://wglt.org/post/rodney-davis-stands-firm-second-amendment#stream/0
  58. ^ Schoenburg, Bernard (October 6, 2020). “Davis, Londrigan clash on health care, abortion, taxes, campaign money”. The State Journal-Register. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  59. ^ “Election Results 2012 GENERAL ELECTION”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  60. ^ “Election Results 2014 GENERAL PRIMARY”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  61. ^ “Election Results 2014 GENERAL ELECTION”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  62. ^ “Election Results 2016 GENERAL PRIMARY”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  63. ^ “Election Results 2016 GENERAL ELECTION”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  64. ^ “Election Results 2018 GENERAL ELECTION”. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  65. ^ “Profile”. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  66. ^ “Rep. Joe Barton on congressional baseball game, GOP’s 7-year losing streak and Democratic superstar Cedric Richmond”. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  67. ^ “Our 10 best photos from the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game”. Roll Call. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  68. ^ Kapos, Shia. “Rep. Rodney Davis diagnosed with Covid days after warning lawmakers about safety”. POLITICO. Retrieved August 6, 2020.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Judy Biggert
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois’s 13th congressional district

2013–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Bob Brady
Ranking Member of the House Administration Committee
2019–present
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Joaquin Castro
United States representatives by seniority
169th
Succeeded by
Lois Frankel