PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) is switching districts, but he is still running for Congress.
He joined WMBD/WYZZ’s Matt Sheehan to talk about his campaign for the 2022 race.
QUESTION: What’s different about the two districts?
“I wasn’t given the choice to switch numbers,” Davis said. “I represent the 13th District now, which is 14 counties in central and southwestern Illinois. But the Democrats in Springfield drew a new, gerrymandered map. It put me in the Illinois 15, I’m the only incumbent member of Congress who lives in that District. It’s a very widespread, gerrymandered District. It stretches from my hometown of Taylorville, down to Vandalia, back east to Indiana, then back West to the river and up to Iowa, and down to St. Louis. 35 counties of the area that I’ve served a lot previously, and I’m looking forward to serving the rest of the areas too.”
QUESTION: A few years ago, Gov. Pritzker said he would veto any partisan maps. That didn’t happen. What are your thoughts?
“It’s another expected broken promise from Gov. Pritzker. He’s been a disaster as a governor. There are only a few things that you can be judged upon. A lot of times it’s your campaign promises when running for that office. He specifically said he would not sign any legislative drawn map. He’s not only signed one, but he also signed two others. In my opinion, he struck out on fulfilling that promise,” Davis said.
QUESTION: Speaking of governor, there were reports floating around saying you would run. What caused you not to?
“I want to chair the House Administration Committee when Republicans take over the majority again after this November election. Eventually, I’m on track in a few terms to make a play to chair the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. I think would be a boom to the Peoria & Bloomington area, and areas I serve. When the Democrats are in charge of drawing the political battlefield, I had to wait to see what the battlefield looked like to decide what the next move was. I wasn’t ready to leave public service yet, so I didn’t rule anything out,” Davis said.
QUESTION: Right now, Democrats control the House, Senate, and the White House. Talk to me about what you think 2022 will look like for House Republicans trying to win back the House.
“It’s going to look great. I think we will win the majority,” Davis said. “We have to make sure we win seats even Democrats don’t expect us to lose.”
Davis referenced Illinois’ 17th District as one of those seats.
“I think Esther Joy King will be able to win this district and add to the Republicans coming from Illinois,” Davis said.
QUESTION: You’re now running for a new District. Does this change your campaign at all?
“Absolutely not. I’m me. I’m not going to change who I am. I’m a conservative, I have my core values and principles. I’m never going to sacrifice my pro-life or Second Amendment values,” Davis said. “But I also have a record of getting things done in Washington. Recently, I was able to pass a voluntary, private sector, Republican approach to dealing with student debt in this country. We have $1.7 trillion in student debt.”
QUESTION: The President’s Build Back Better Bill is at a standstill after U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) wouldn’t give his vote. You voted against it when it was in the House, can you explain why?
“I’m so glad Sen. Manchin finally stood up and said, ‘enough is enough.’ This bill would raise taxes, fees, and costs on every single American family at a time this Administration fails to address the inflation pressures that our ravaging our economy right now,” Davis said. “It would’ve exacerbated our problem at the Southern border. We had 11,000 people living under one bridge in Del Rio, Texas not too long ago. Immigrants coming across the border. That’s the entire size of my hometown of Taylorville, under one bridge.”
Davis said he would eventually endorse a candidate for Illinois Governor, but did not say who it would be.