DECATUR — A few weeks after he was chosen as the Republican nominee for the newly drawn 13th Congressional District, Rodney Davis brought his tour of the district to the Decatur area Tuesday.
Davis, 42, of Taylorville was chosen by the district’s 14 county chairmen in a weighted vote May 19 after U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson of urbana announced he was dropping out of the race following his primary victory. Davis stopped in Mount Zion and Decatur on Tuesday to speak with voters.
Davis recently left his position as projects director for U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, a Republican from Collinsville, to focus on the campaign. He faces Bloomington physician David Gill, a Democrat, in the November election.
Contrasts between the two are stark. Gill has campaigned for years on a platform that includes support for a universal health care system, while Davis said he wants to repeal the reform legislation passed in 2010 and limit government involvement health care.
“I don’t think the people of this district, in what I like to call ‘our America,’ I don’t think they want to cede control of where and when to seek treatment to a faceless bureaucrat,” Davis said, citing his family’s own experiences with the health care system. His wife is a 13-year cancer survivor.
Davis said he would support funding for primary care centers and push for allowing insurance to be sold across state lines.
Gill has characterized Davis as a Washington, D.C., insider, calling him “part of the problem.” In response, Davis said he is “the furthest thing from a Washington insider there is,” saying he worked from Central Illinois to help constituents.
Because of this, he said he knows how to navigate the political system: “I’m not enamored with Washington, D.C., because I’ve been there. I feel I can hit the ground running.”
Davis also described himself as “unabashedly pro-life,” opposing abortion except in cases of rape, incest and when the mother’s health is in danger. Gill has repeatedly expressed support for abortion rights.