* Tom Kacich…
David Gill, who has run for Congress four times, says he’ll probably make it a fifth in 2016.
This time, he said, he intends to run as an independent, not a Democrat.
Gill filed a one-page statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on April 7.
Ironically, he probably would have been elected to Congress in 2012 if not for the candidacy of independent John Hartman. Gill lost to Republican Rodney Davis by 1,002 votes, or less than half a percentage point, in November 2012. Hartman got 21,319 votes in the race, or about 7 percent of the votes cast.
* The News-Gazette editorial board looks at the impact Gill’s candidacy could have on incumbent GOP Congressman Rodney Davis…
If he stays true to his plans, it sets the stage for Gill and the eventual Democratic nominee to split the anti-Davis vote, ensuring the Republican’s re-election
Why is that a likely scenario? That’s what happened when in 2012 when Gill lost his close race to Davis. A third candidate, independent John Hartman, a liberal like Gill, collected roughly 21,000 votes in a contest Gill lost to Davis by 1,002 votes. Gill and Davis disagree about whose campaign Hartman hurt more, but Hartman’s presence on the ballot clearly had a decisive impact.
Gill, an honorable and sincere person, remains haunted by the thought of what might have been in 2012. He pines to serve in the national legislature and help promote the policies he believes to be in this country’s best interests.
But an independent candidate’s path to electoral success in a two-party system is a tough one. More likely, he will play a spoiler. That’s why Davis and local Republicans can only be pleased with Gill’s plan for 2016.
There are a ton of college students in that district and they turn out in presidential years. The News-Gazette is probably right.
* But first Gill has to get onto the ballot…
Not only does Gill have to collect approximately 15,000 signatures to get on the 2016 ballot, but he’s got a limited amount of time to gather them.
“There’s a 90-day window,” said Jim Tenuto, assistant executive director of the State Board of Elections. “It usually starts sometime in September.”