Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 10, 2016

Ann Callis Launches Second Ad in Illinois Primary

Former judge Ann Callis is launching her latest TV ad on Wednesday, less than two weeks out from the Democratic primary in Illinois’ 13th District.

Callis is the national party’s pick to oust freshman Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill, in this highly competitive downstate district. But she must first take care of business against physics professor George Gollin in the March 18 primary.

“As parents, we teach our children to do what’s right,” Callis says in the 30-second bio spot. “As a judge, I held people accountable when they did wrong. That’s why I cracked down on violent criminals, and stopped the big banks when they tried to kick families out of their homes.”

Callis’ ad is backed by a $27,000 buy on broadcast and cable throughout the district, according to a source tracking media buys in the district. It brings her total ad spending in the primary to $47,000.

Gollin is slightly outspending Callis on the airwaves so far, putting $58,000 behind two ads, according to the same source.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently named Callis a top recruit and the party’s best shot to flip the seat into the Democrats’ column in November. But with no available polling on the Democratic race and or how familiar voters are with Callis or Gollin, it’s unclear where the candidates stand just before the primary.

Democrats have faced recent issues in this district getting their preferred candidate through the primary. Just last cycle, David Gill, an emergency room physician, defeated Greene County State’s Attorney Matt Goetten, the party’s pick.

Gill, who had run three unsuccessful congressional bids before 2012, eked through the primary by less than 1 point, and went on to lose to Davis in the general by 1,000 votes. As Democrats closed in on their recruitment of Callis last year, Gill was appointed to a state government post, taking him out of the running as a potential spoiler again.

Democrats in the state say they are unconcerned about Callis’ odds in the upcoming primary, given her backing by the DCCC and $517,000 in the bank as of Dec. 31.

“He’s got a constituency, but I think Ann’s is by far the largest one,” said Josh Hartke, a Champaign County Board member and the 2002 Democratic nominee in what was then Illinois’ 15th District. “She’s doing well in Champaign County, George’s hometown, and she’s from the southwest corner of the district, and has huge support from Madison County.”

Davis faces a primary from former Miss America Erika Harold, but neither party views her challenge as a significant threat to Davis. Still, Davis has been on the air for a few weeks with a bio spot of his own.

The general election is rated a Tilt Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. President Barack Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney each received 49 percent in the district in 2012.

  • Henry Ko

    Liberty implies a private boundary inside which conditions cannot be controlled by other people and where choices cannot be restricted to those determined by others.

  • Carl Estabrook

    This account of the Illinois 13th CD is strikingly incomplete. Callis and Gollin do not differ on any of the important issues – war and the economy – where they simply support the Obama administration. But there is a third candidate in the Democratic primary, David Green of Champaign, whose views contrast with theirs: .

  • teapartyidiots

    The thing that they are forgetting is that Davis beat a far left perennial candidate by less than 1 point.

  • TerraBella32

    George Gollin is outspending Callis on TV ads, and clearly it is money well spent:

  • Haley Schmitterbach

    If we are to continue discovering better ways of doing things, as many people as possible must be as free as possible to experiment and innovate.

  • TerraBella32

    Gollin attacks Callis on his only strong point:

  • Jumphrey

    David Green is (not kidding) a green party candidate who is twisting the knife in Democrat’s back by running and splitting the progressive vote. I wouldn’t be surprised if he as getting kickbacks and help from Callis, to help dilute the progressive vote. The fact that he has been categorically dishonest about Gollin’s positions (claiming he’s pro-fracking when he’s stated multiple times that he’s not) is part of the problem.

  • Carl Estabrook

    Gollin (and Callis) in office would vote in favor of Obama’s war and economic policies. David Green would vote against them.

    I suppose you might say that Gollin and Callis are splitting the regressive vote among Democrats – those who support the child-killer in the White House…

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