Due to redistricting Republican Congressman Rodney Davis’ home in Taylorville is now in the 15th Congressional District where he is running for re-election leaving his former 13th District wide open. Two Republican candidates with Decatur roots, Regan Deering and Jesse Reising, will be going head-to-head in the June 28th Primary Election to see which candidate moves on to the General Election to face the winner of the Democrat Primary race between David Palmer of Champaign and Nikki Budzinski of Springfield. although there is a lot of time between now and the June 28th Primary Election, Budzinski has more endorsements for her candidacy at this stage of the campaign than I’ve seen in years — maybe ever. Budzinski is ex-pected to be the Democrat moving on towards the General Election following the June 28th balloting.
The interesting question is about the Republicans having two candidates (at least as I’m writing this column) and if the two candidates spend a lot of money to eliminate each other, will the winner have enough to beat the Democrat in November? The lines of the 13th District were redrawn to get rid of Rodney Davis and favor a Democrat — specifically Nikki Budzinski.
• JESSE Reising announced his candidacy several days before Regan Deering made her announcement. Does it put the Republicans in a weaker position because of having two in the field, instead of one who could concentrate on winning the General Election? Not necessarily.
Neither of the Republican candidates has district-wide recognition, but, since they are opposing each other for the next five months before the primary, there will be a lot of free publicity and a lot of public exposure that is only possible with a primary opponent. Although each candidate will have to spend a lot of money to win the primary, the one who emerges the winner, because of the additional exposure over several months could receive a lot of campaign cash if he or she appears to be a strong enough candiate to win.
• THE Republican candidate in the 13th Congressional District that emerges as winner from the June 28th Primary Election will be a lot stronger opponent to the Democrat nominee because of months of exposure in fighting for that win. Many Democrats in leadership positions now regard the 13th District as their own because that is the way they drew it and they have a very strong candidate in Nikki Budzinski. The district was drawn to defeat any Republican candidate. However, there’s a long time between now and the November General Election and the 13th District will be impacted by the popularity, or lack of it, of President Joe Biden. So far, his polling numbers are miserable and if they stay that way, or get worse, that will have an impact on voters — especially in the 13th.
• WHEN I ran for my first term as mayor, I had three opponents in the primary. I already had name recognition because of being editor of this newspaper for so many years and my radio and television shows. However, one of my opponents had substantial campaign contributions behind him and had raised a lot more money than the rest of us put together. Back then, there were several debates and forums involving the four of us and, fortunately, when the primary votes were counted, which would determine the two candidates out of the four that would go on to the general election, I was able to win first place by a sizeable margin. The added exposure because of all of the debates and forums, and the convincing victory, drew a lot of campaign donations.
The primary campaign was a plus, not a minus, for me. It remains to be seen which Republican candidate in the 13th district emerges from the primary looking like he or she has a good chance to win in the general election.
• I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. every Thursday morning at 7:00. I always enjoy our conversation on a variety of subjects.