News Local/State

Vice President Pence Stumps For Incumbent Davis At Springfield Fundraiser

Congressman Rodney Davis, left, greets supporters alongside Vice President Mike Pence at a fundraiser in Springfield on Oct. 12.

Congressman Rodney Davis, left, greets supporters alongside Vice President Mike Pence at a fundraiser in Springfield on Oct. 12. Sam Dunklau/NPR Illinois

Vice President Mike Pence was in Springfield Friday, stumping for Congressman Rodney Davis. Pence has been crisscrossing the country to help GOP candidates maintain control of districts that could flip Democratic in the midterm election.

Davis is seeking his third term in office in what has been a safe Republican district. But polls suggest his bid against Democratic challenger Betsy Dirksen-Londrigan will be tighter than expected.

In an effort to galvanize supporters, Davis hosted Vice President Pence, who praised the incumbent Congressman as a voice for “conservative values."

“Congressman Rodney Davis is a leader on Capitol Hill," the Vice President exclaimed to the crowd amid cheers. "With his strong support we’ve made incredible progress.”

Vice President Mike Pence joined Davis in an attempt to galvanize voters ahead of the midterm election.

Sam Dunklau/NPR Illinois

At the luncheon fundraiser, Pence stressed the importance of keeping the incumbent Congressman in his seat.

“The truth of the matter is that Illinois 13 may be the district that decides whether or not we have a Republican majority, or whether Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House in the next Congress,” he said.

While the 13th Congressional district has been rated safely Republican in the last two elections, this won’t be Davis’ first close election. In 2012, he beat his Democratic challenger by less than half of one percent to win the seat for the first time.

In a statement released during the fundraiser, Betsy Dirksen-Londrigan’s campaign called it a sign of panic from Washington Republicans who are “afraid to lose Davis’ loyal vote.”

Protesters outside the fundraising event in Springfield on Oct. 12.

Daisy Contreras/NPR Illinois

About two dozen demonstrators stood in the rain across a country club where the vice president would give his remarks.

Doris Turner, Sangamon County Democratic Chair, says she joined the protest because she’s worried about the future of healthcare.

“I have a daughter that has a preexisting condition," Turner explained. "Rodney Davis has voted at least 14 times to get that provision out so that people will not have access to adequate healthcare. And I think that's just wrong. We need someone to stand up and be a voice for those individuals.”

In his remarks to supporters, Vice President Pence said the Republican plan is to help people with preexisting conditions.