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Gill’s independent bid could boost Rodney Davis’ prospects

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2015

* 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.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

18 Comments
  1. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:01 am:

    Bad case of Potomac Fever there.


  2. - TooManyJens - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:02 am:

    I’ve volunteered for Gill’s campaign in the past, and if he somehow magically became our representative I’d be happy, but as a candidate he’s just not very good. I think he’s a good man, but I also think he needs to look past himself and his own ideas of progressive purity and figure out how to constructively interact with an impure world.


  3. - MoneyMoney - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:05 am:

    Do not underestimate Gill. If anyone can pull this off, he can. Think about what he accomplished in the 2012 race without any real support from the Dems. If the Dems had even given Gill a little help in 2012, Davis would have lost.


  4. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:10 am:

    MM, it’s hard to underestimate someone who has lost four times.


  5. - slow down - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:15 am:

    Have any Dems lined up for the race?


  6. - EastSLider - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:20 am:

    @MoneyMoney

    Dems spent over $3 Million to support his candidacy in 2012, whatever Dr. Gill prescribed to you, please share with the rest of us!!!


  7. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:22 am:

    “Dr. Gill, how can we help” - The Rodney Davis Crew.


  8. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:22 am:

    Even with college students and Presidential turnout, I suspect Davis will prevail either way, though he’ll never coast. I wish it weren’t so, but I think he just knows how to conform to that district very well.


  9. - walker - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:24 am:

    The Democratic brand itself is worth thousands of votes.


  10. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:47 am:

    I always took John Hartman for a libertarian.

    Who will run against Rodney Davis in 2016? Heck - who is a viable candidate at this point? I wonder if Andy Manar would pull the trigger. He’s in the middle of a four year term, is an impressive campaigner and has the policy chops to do well in a debate. But is he interested? And, if not, then who?


  11. - The Muse - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:54 am:

    Gill needs to give it up. He has a district that leans slightly Dem and he hasn’t been able to pull it off. Time for new blood.


  12. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 10:56 am:

    We’re just not that into you, Gil.
    Please go away and take Joe Walsh with you.


  13. - TooManyJens - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    ==If the Dems had even given Gill a little help in 2012, Davis would have lost. ==

    The Democrats he was constantly calling corrupt sellouts and attacking to burnish his One True Progressive cred? Yeah, I wonder why they weren’t more eager to help.


  14. - Really? - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 11:34 am:

    MM-You mean the David Gill who has run and lost four times, once as the Democratic nominee in a Democratic-leaning district in a presidential year? That’s the David Gill we are not supposed to underestimate?


  15. - Conservative Veteran - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:11 pm:

    Jim Tenuto was incorrect about when independent candidates will get petition signatures. That period is March-June.


  16. - AmericanPie - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 12:38 pm:

    Does anyone think this is a ploy by Gill to get local Dems to back him for Congress? As for the signature requirements, it may be 15,000 - but he’ll need more than that (30,000?) to absorb challenges, etc.


  17. - Filmmaker Professor - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 3:24 pm:

    Don’t forget Erika Harold ran against Davis last time. Anyone know if she’s going to try again? I thought she might run for the Senate or Gov, but nothing.


  18. - Filmmaker Professor - Wednesday, Apr 29, 15 @ 3:25 pm:

    Oh yes, U of I professor George Golin ran a credible campaign for the Dem nomination last time. It’s possible he might try again.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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