SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) will not run for governor in 2022, and will instead seek re-election to Congress for a sixth consecutive term, according to campaign sources.
Davis plans to roll out a long list of endorsements from local leaders in Central Illinois on Tuesday morning to officially jumpstart the primary bid in a newly drawn district. Democrats carved his hometown of Taylorville out of the 13th District he’s represented for the last decade. Instead, his home is now included in a sprawling 15th District that spans the entirety of the state from Quincy in the western border to Paris along the Indiana state line.
In forsaking a grueling primary gauntlet against a field of other candidates running for governor, Davis sets his sights on ascending the ranks of Congress. In August, he predicted Republicans would retake the majority in the upcoming midterms.
“I think we’ve got a great opportunity as we retake the majority,” he said after an agriculture event at the Illinois State Fair. “Republicans will win the majority in Congress in 2022.”
If the GOP can retake the House, Davis would become chair of the Administration Committee in 2023, and as the current ranking Republican member of the Highways and Transit subcommittee, he’d be next in line to become the ranking member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in 2025 when U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) completes his six-year term.
“After our term limits expire with me and with Chairman Graves, I would like to be chairman of Transportation and Infrastructure in Washington D.C.,” Davis said.
The decision from Davis leaves first-term incumbent Congresswoman Mary Miller with no easy path to re-election. Her home in Oakland sits just outside of the new 15th District boundary lines. She could run where she lives now and declare a primary race against incumbent Congressman Mike Bost, or she could run against Davis and relocate to that district later if she were to win.
Texts to Miller were not returned. It remains unclear if she plans to seek re-election to Congress or to another elected office.
Davis’ decision to run in the new, more Republican, more rural district leaves an open seat in the 13th District. Democrat Nikki Budzinski left the Biden administration to return to Springfield and seek the party’s nomination in that seat, which Democrats had been targeting for a decade. She faces Champaign financial advisor David Palmer in the primary contest, which is scheduled for June 28th.