The 21st Show

IL-13 Front-runners Receive Out-Of-State Contributions

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis and Betsy Dirksen Londrigan.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) and challenger Betsy Dirksen Londrigan (D-Springfield) at their debate in the WILL-TV studios in Urbana. Travis Stansel/Illinois Public Media

While many states will cast their ballots today on Super Tuesday, the candidates in Illinois' 13th Congressional District continue to run some of the most expensive campaigns in the country ahead of the March 17 primary. 

Speaking on the 21st Show, Ryan Denham, reporter at WGLT, said the 13th Congressional District covers parts of Bloomington-Normal, Springfield, Decatuer, and Champaign-Urbana. Denham said the 13th District is "comfortably a swing district" because it encompasses different areas and different types of people. 

Betsy Dirksen Londrigan was the Democratic challenger who narrowly lost to incumbent Rep. Rodney Davis in 2018. She and Davis are both running again. Londrigan has raised about $1 million, putting her slightly ahead of Davis, according to Denham. 

Denham said the implications of a Davis loss would be widespread. 

"Republicans are not likely to take back control of the House if they end up losing Rodney Davis's seat, that would be a very bad sign," Denham said. "So it's not just people in the 13th district, it's really a national audience for where this money is coming from." 

Longdrigan and Davis both have money coming from out of state. 

Kent Redfield, emeritius professor of political science at University of Illinois Springfield, said the more money funneled into a campaign isn't necessarily better. 

"The specific issues of the district sometimes get lost when these contests become nationalized," he said. "You know you want to elect people that know your interests, that are going to represent you, and often these get to be fights between huge money interests and political parties that are thinking nationally rather than locally." 

Guests: Ryan Denham, reporter WGLT. Kent Redfield, emeritius professor of political science, Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield. 

Prepared for web by WILL intern Sidney Madden. 

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