13th Congressional District: Ten months ago, no one thought Rodney Davis and David Gill would be facing each other for Illinois’ new 13th Congressional District seat. However unlikely the match-up is, we think Republican Davis is best-suited to represent Central Illinois.
The Nov. 6 winner replaces GOP U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, who withdrew from the race after the primary, leaving GOP county chairmen to pick Davis in mid-May. Gill won a tough primary race against Greene County State’s Attorney Matt Goetten by 163 votes.
The biggest disappointment in the Gill/Davis race has been its negative, often nasty tone, punctuated by sharp exchanges via mailers and broadcast advertising. Outside groups have spent $4.6 million trying to sway voters — and that doesn’t include what the candidates have spent.
Davis has staked out some sensible positions. He says businesses need certainty, which he contends is hampered by the Affordable Care Act and Congress’ inaction about continuing the Bush-era tax cuts. Davis supports extending the current rates permanently and also wants to see an established transportation plan that, with federal funding, would put more people to work and reduce the nation’s still-too-high unemployment rate.
Gill has failed three times to win in the former 15th District, which should serve as a signal that perhaps his message isn’t something most Central Illinoisans embrace. Independent John Hartman has offered some interesting campaign moments, but is unelectable.
In recommending Davis, we plan to hold him to his word about being bipartisan and working for effective solutions. He must govern differently than the way he’s run his campaign.
18th Congressional District
Republican U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock doesn’t hesitate about the concerns of voters in the 18th Congressional District: agriculture, manufacturing jobs and the economy.
He understands the importance of passing an effective Farm Bill, helping to create decent jobs and growing the economy that he says is hampered by too much federal regulation, a burdensome corporate tax rate and a mountain of debt that can be addressed by comprehensive tax reform.
His Democratic opponent, Steve Waterworth of Easton, is concerned about the economy, too. He focuses a lot on foreign competition, particularly the threat from China, and the federal debt that he says must be addressed before spending is cut or taxes are raised — reducing imports of foreign-made goods and raising the import tax would help.
Schock supports extending the Bush tax cuts and opposes President Obama’s plan to raise taxes on the wealthy. Waterworth doesn’t necessarily think the wealthy should be taxed more because as they spend, they create jobs.
On health care, Schock targets key points in the debate, including addressing the issue of pre-existing conditions, giving consumers “more control of their dollar” and allowing cross-state competition.
Waterworth, a U.S. Air Force retiree, supports the Affordable Care Act, and says time will tell what works and what doesn’t, and that the law will create jobs in the long run.
There are myriad other issues that deserve study and attention — too many to fully address here.
But we feel Schock has a firm grasp on most of them and has demonstrated sound reasoning and a willingness to buck the standard GOP response to anything supported by Democrats. He deserves another term in Congress.