Congressional race likely to be competitive & controversial, again

Published 01/08 2014 11:28AM

Updated 01/08 2014 11:44AM

SPRINGFIELD -- Chances are you remember commercials from the 2012 congressional race that were pretty disparaging. Experts say you can expect more of the same this year.

Voters head to the polls to pick a lawmaker for the 13th Congressional District in November. Political watchers are already saying it will be one of the hottest congressional races in the country. WCIA-3's Steve Staeger keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

It sounds like deja vu and it's not good news for those who hate nasty political commercials. Nearly two years ago, the 13th District saw some of the biggest spending ever in a congressional race, and it's ripe to do it all over again.

If you watch TV at all, the names Rodney Davis and David Gill are probably stuck in your head nearly two years later.

"By the end of it, they were just hammering each other daily. And, it's likely that you're going to get a repeat of that this year."

2012's race for the 13th District was fiery and political experts say 2014's race will be much of the same.

"Very expensive and very hotly-contested."

The reason is it's one of a few seats where both sides can see victory.

"There aren't a lot of contested districts; a lot of districts that are competitive nationally."

The tactics may not change, but the cast of characters will be a bit different. Rodney Davis will compete again for the seat he's held for two years already. He'll likely get the support of national Republicans again.

"Last time around, the Democrats didn't get who they thought would be their best candidate and then the polling showed that the race was competitive so then they got into it. And getting into it late, probably hurt them."

This time, things could change. It looks like the Democrats will get their candidate, Judge Ann Callis.

"If they get the candidate they want, then this is going to be a huge target because this has the possibility to pick up a seat."

In 2012, outside groups spent nearly $7 million on the race. Expect that kind of spending again, which always leads to negative ad campaigns. But, before there's a race, there has to be a primary.

Rodney Davis will take on former Miss America Erika Harold and Micheal Firshing. Ann Callis will face Champaign natives George Gollin and David Green. The primary is March 18.

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