Labor urges support for Republican Rodney Davis in June 28 primary


Some Labor unions are in the unusual position of endorsing Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis over Rep. Mary Miller in the June 28 GOP primary election in Illinois’ new 15th Congressional District. The endorsements were made despite an increasingly rare public involvement of unions in Republican elections.

Observers say a key reason was that Davis’ policies are far more acceptable to Labor than those of Miller(R-Oakland).

They noted that Davis (R-Taylorville) has a congressional voting record of 39 percent in support of AFL-CIO-endorsed bills, considered high for a Republican. That compares to Miller’s failure – ever – to vote for any bill backed by the AFL-CIO.

Illinois Democrats controlled last year’s redistricting process, which placed Davis and his hometown in the new, mostly rural 15th District. The new district runs from Quincy to Indiana and north to Iowa, comprising 35 counties. The district also covers part of southern Illinois and extends to a part of the Metro East.

Davis has represented the old 13th District since 2012. Miller has represented the old 15th District for two years. Her home is just outside the new 15th District boundaries, but House candidates don’t have to live in the districts they represent, only within the state.

Many Labor unions oppose Miller because she was endorsed by former President Donald Trump and by the Conservative Political Action Coalition, both seen as unfriendly to unions.

Davis co-chaired Trump’s re-election campaign in Illinois but Trump decided to support Miller in the primary, noting her voting record in favor of conservative causes.

Unions endorsing Davis in the primary are the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters in Illinois, the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) State Lodge, and Local 1304 of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), based at the federal prison at Greenville.

David Parsons, Illinois FOP Legislative Committee chair, said in a statement that Davis was “a trusted member of the United States House of Representatives. We have seen him stand up for the men and women of law enforcement, even when he faced criticism for doing so.”

A 30-second video ad paid for by the Plumbers and Pipefitters criticized Miller, stating, “Phony Mary Miller is not one of us” and alleging she twice failed to pay property and business taxes on her family’s farming operations.

Paul Lange of Quincy is the only Democrat in the 15th District congressional primary and will face the winner of the Davis-Miller primary in November.


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