Rodney Davis (politician)

Rodney Davis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 13th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Judy Biggert
Personal details
Born Rodney Lee Davis
(1970-01-05) January 5, 1970
Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Shannon Davis
Alma mater Millikin University (BA)
Website House website

Rodney Lee Davis (born January 5, 1970)[1] is an American member of Congress who has been the United States Representative for Illinois's 13th congressional district since 2013. He is a member of the Republican Party. Davis successfully ran for re-election in 2014.

Early life and education

Davis was born in Des Moines and is a lifelong resident of Taylorville, Illinois where he attended public school. Before attending college, he worked at a McDonald's that his parents operated.[2] He graduated with honors from Millikin University in 1992 with a degree in political science.

Early political career

After graduating from college, Davis worked for then-Secretary of State George Ryan. In 1996, he lost a race for the state legislature.[3] In 1998, Davis managed the first re-election campaign for Illinois Congressman John Shimkus. Following the successful campaign, Davis accepted a position on Shimkus' congressional staff.[4]

In 2000, Davis lost his second campaign, this time for mayor of his hometown, Taylorville.[3] Davis served as Shimkus' Projects Director while simultaneously running for Congress.[5]

U.S House of Representatives



On May 19, 2012, the Republican County Chairmen for the 14 Illinois counties comprising the 13th district nominated Davis as the Republican candidate in the 13th District. This district had previously been the 15th, represented by six-term incumbent Republican Tim Johnson, who had announced in April that he would not seek re-election. Other finalists for the nomination were Jerry Clarke, chief of staff to fellow U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren and Johnson's former chief of staff; Erika Harold, a lawyer and winner of Miss America in 2003; and Kathy Wassink, a businesswoman.[5] Davis was coaching his sons' little league baseball game when he was informed that he had been nominated.[6]

Davis narrowly defeated David M. Gill in the general election by a margin of 1,002 votes (0.3%).[7]


On June 13, 2013, former Miss America Erika Harold announced she would run against Davis in the 2014 Republican primary.[8] The primary took place on March 18, 2014. The Republican field included Davis, Harold, and Michael Firsching.[9] Davis won the primary with 55% of the vote.[9]

Davis faced Democrat Ann Callis in the general election on November 4, 2014.[10] He was reportedly a top target for the Democrats[11] but won the general election with 59% of the vote.[12][13]


Davis is running for re-election in 2016. He defeated Ethan Vandersand in the Republican primary. He will face Democrat Mark Wicklund and independent David Gill in the general election on November 8, 2016.[14]

Committee assignments


Davis introduced the Hire More Heroes Act of 2013 into the House on November 13, 2013. The bill would allow employers to exclude veterans receiving health insurance from the United States Department of Defense or the United States Department of Veterans' Affairs from their list of employees.[15][16] This would have had the effect of keeping their list of employees shorter, allowing some small businesses to fall underneath the 50 full-time employees line that would require them to provide their employees with healthcare under the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.[16][17]

Davis said that the bill "gives our small businesses another incentive to hire veterans, which helps to address the increasing number of unemployed veterans, while providing them with some relief from ObamaCare."[17]

Political positions

Davis voted for H.J.Res.59 – Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014, which resulted in the Government Shutdown of 2013. After the vote, Politico reported that Davis also intended to vote for a bill that would end the shutdown, stressing that an agreement needed to be made and that "Like most of those I represent, I remain opposed to Obamacare, but a government shutdown is absolutely unacceptable."[18][19][20][21][22]

Davis voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act,[23] and voted to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act.[24]

Davis is pro-life, opposes public abortion funding, and is against religious institutions being required to offer health plans that include coverage for birth control.[25]

In June 2016, Davis cast the deciding vote on a bill to retain the ability of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to join the U.S. military. The program would allow a quicker pathway to citizenship for those who serve.[26]

Davis has cast several votes in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.[26] In 2015, he voted to lift a ban on travel to Cuba.[26]

Personal life

Davis married his high school sweetheart, Shannon, in 1995, and the couple currently lives in Taylorville, Illinois.[27] They have three children.[5]

Davis holds various positions throughout his community. Davis serves on the Board of Education for St. Mary's Church, where he also serves as volunteer athletic director.[28] He coaches Taylorville Junior Football, is a member of the Taylorville Optimist Club, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Christian County Senior Center.[1]


  1. 1 2 "Rodney Davis' Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  2. "Illinois, 13th House District". National Journal. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  3. 1 2 "DAVIS profile". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  4. Gangitano, Alex (June 23, 2016). "Staffer Member Duo Turned Catcher Pitcher Teammates". Roll Call. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  5. 1 2 3 Petty, Allison (May 19, 2012). "GOP picks Rodney Davis to face Gill". Bloomington Pantagraph.
  6. "GOP chooses Davis for US Rep. Tim Johnson's seat". Associated Press. May 19, 2012.
  7. "Ballots Cast". Illinois State Board of Election. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  8. Last, Jonathan V. "Miss America vs. Mr. Incumbent". The Weekly Standard.
  9. 1 2 Official Illinois State Board of Elections Results. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  10. Cahn, Emily (March 18, 2014). "Ann Callis, Rodney Davis to Face Off in Targeted Illinois District". Roll Call. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  11. Camia, Catalina. Ex-Miss America Erika Harold begins campaign for Congress, USA Today, June 4, 2013; retrieved March 3, 2015.
  12. "Illinois General Election 2014". Illinois State Board of Elections. November 4, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  13. Kacich, Tom "Davis: 'An Opportunity' for Republicans", The News Gazette, November 5, 2014; retrieved May 27, 2016.
  14. Kacich, Tom (July 19, 2016). "Davis has monumental advantage in campaign money". The News-Gazette. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  15. "H.R. 3474 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  16. 1 2 Hultgren, Randy (January 13, 2014). "Let's Give Jobs to Veterans: Hultgren Supports Hire More Heroes Act". Osqego Patch. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  17. 1 2 Kasperowicz, Pete (March 10, 2014). "GOP eyes Dem help on ObamaCare". The Hill. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  18. "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 504". Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  19. "H.J.Res.59 – Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014". Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  20. ISENSTADT, ALEX (October 1, 2013). "Vulnerable Republicans: End the shutdown". Politico. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  21. "Legislation-Joint Resolution – Concurrence Vote Passed (House) (228-201) – Sept. 30, 2013". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  22. "How Rodney Davis voted on key votes". Washington Post. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  23. Mike Fitzgerald (December 3, 2013). "Health care glitches put twist on local congressional races".
  24. Bill Lambrecht (May 20, 2013). "In Illinois, Davis preparing for marathon race for Congress". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  25. "Rodney Davis on Abortion". Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  26. 1 2 3 Raasch, Chuck (July 4, 2016). "Rep. Rodney Davis is a Republican with an occasional twist". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  27. "Profile". Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  28. Spearie, Steven (August 18, 2015). "Rep. Davis offering 50 U.S. Capitol Lawn tickets to watch video of pope addressing Congress". State Journal-Register. Retrieved 28 September 2016.

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Judy Biggert
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 13th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Kevin Cramer
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
John Delaney
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