EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (Legal Newsline) – With the melee battle that is the primary race for Illinois’ 13th Congressional District finally coming to conclusion next week, Ann Callis, the Democratic preferred, is pulling out all the stops, releasing her third TV ad in three weeks.
Traditionally Republican for the past century, District 13, which is composed of numerous counties including parts of Madison and Champaign, was part of the 2011 redistricting – a move that some argue gave Democrats a fighting chance to take the Congressional seat.
In May, Callis, the former chief judge of the Third Circuit Court, announced her resignation from the court to pursue her aspirations of becoming an Illinois congresswoman. The Third Circuit covers Madison and Bond counties.
But to make those aspirations come true, Callis will have to win out in a crowded Democratic primary on Tuesday, with her toughest competition seemingly coming from an academic — University of Illinois professor George Gollin, who recently received an endorsement from the Chicago Tribune.
As of Feb. 26, Callis’ war chest was double the size of Gollin’s, with $449,496 cash-on-hand, according to opensecrets.org.
However, in the last few weeks, Callis has dipped into those funds, releasing three recent television ads. The first ad highlights her support for veterans while the second focuses on her judgeship.
“As a judge, I held people accountable when they did wrong,” Callis said in the second ad. “That’s why I cracked down on violent criminals and stopped the big banks when they tried to kick families out of their homes.”
The latest ad, released March 12, primarily discuss Callis’ support for the senior community, saying her commitment to stand up for seniors is one reason she has earned her the support of U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
The media blitz may have come too late though.
Many groups believe the support Callis has received from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee may have hurt her chances for election – so much so that the National Republican Congressional Committee has even accused Callis of trying to hide the real reason she is running for Congress — U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
In an October blog post, NRCC points to an interview Callis gave in August, wherein she told voters she was not approached by Washington Democrats about running for Congress.
“Why would Ann Callis lie about something so small? Is she trying to hide the fact that Nancy Pelosi is her driving force behind her run? Spoiler alert: We already know she is,” writes Katie Prill, a NRCC press secretary.
“Ann Callis is already being dishonest with Illinois families. Whether it’s her reason to run or her loyal support of Nancy Pelosi, Callis has made it clear that she will say and doing anything, even if it’s dishonest, to get elected.”
Callis also faces competition from David Green in the coming Democratic primary.
On the Republican side, incumbent U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis will square off against Former Miss America Erika Harold and Michael Firsching.
Newsline: Reach David Yates at email@example.com.