By CARL GREEN
Springfield, IL – The 2020 race for the Illinois 13th Congressional District could look a lot like the 2018 campaign now that Democratic challenger Betsy Londrigan (D-Springfield) has announced she will try again to unseat incumbent Rodney Davis, (R-Taylorville).
Londrigan, 48, a protégé of Senator Dick Durbin, won the 2018 nomination over a crowded field and then came within about 2,000 votes of ousting Davis in the general election.
ALL ABOUT HEALTH CARE
She held a campaign kickoff on Thursday, April 11, at the Illinois AFL-CIO offices in Springfield and gave the State Journal-Register newspaper a preview of the coming campaign.
“Health care is still the issue,” she said. “As I traveled the district during the last 18 months, it’s what I heard over and over again. People want the protections that the Affordable Care Act provides, and they want to make sure that their kids get a good education.
“They want good jobs. But overall, health care is the issue. And we still have an administration and a congressman that are trying to get rid of the ACA.”
Londrigan acknowledged that the health law needs improvement, but asked when its opponents will finally “take the hint that people want their health care,” adding that she is not proposing a single-payer health care system.
“Here in the 13th District, so many people have employer-provided health care that they love that I don’t support anything that’s going to take that away,” she said. “We do need help lowering costs. We know there are things we can do with the right people in the room to get these costs down.”
The district stretches across the middle of Illinois, taking in Springfield, Champaign and Bloomington, and then dips down into Madison County to collect Edwardsville. Davis, now in his fourth term, finished with 136,516 votes, or 50.4 percent, to Londrigan’s 134,458, or 49.6 percent.
Davis won in 12 of the 14 counties, most of them rural, but Londrigan made up the difference in the larger Champaign and Sangamon counties. “I was a first-time candidate who came real close to unseating a six-year incumbent, and we really built a movement,” she said. “I think that we tilled the soil profoundly in the 13th District, and people have gotten to know me. Clearly, there are more people who need to get to know me and our campaign, and why I’m in this and why I’m going to fight for them.”
Republicans immediately sought to characterize her as a far-left socialist, but she declined to accept the label. “I think I am a good Midwestern representative of the Democratic Party, which means that I am focused on jobs, job growth, education, taking care of our kids, and – number one – fixing our health care system,” she said.
Davis, she said, may speak as if he supports health care for working families, but his actions and votes indicate otherwise. “Voters across our nation sent a clear message last November that they want leaders in Washington who will stand by their side and fight to ensure that middle-class families have access to quality, affordable health care,” she said.
“However, instead of listening to his constituents, Rodney Davis again is putting his special-interest donors ahead of the health of our families. That’s unacceptable to me, and I’m running for Congress because we have unfinished business – to ensure that people across the 13th District have that access.”