Birthdate: Jan. 5, 1970
Birth Place: Des Moines, IA, United States
Residence: Taylorville, IL
District: District 13
Rodney Davis was born in Des Moines, Iowa, but has lived in the small central Illinois town of Taylorville since he was 7. He worked in his parents' restaurant while growing up and earned a bachelor's from Millikin University, a small private school in Decatur.
Before running for Congress, Davis was a staff member for U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, a longtime Republican congressman from southwest Illinois who isn't seeking re-election. Shimkus was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996, and has focused on energy issues, becoming a leading conservative voice on global warming, drilling policy and alternative fuels.
Davis has worked as Shimkus' projects director. He also served for a time as acting executive director of the Illinois Republican Party.
Davis and his wife, Shannon, have a daughter and twin sons.
Rodney Davis entered the race fill Illinois' 13th Congressional District seat after longtime Republican Rep. Tim Johnson unexpectedly dropped out, ending his bid to hold off Democratic challenger David Gill in the November 2012 election.
Johnson won the GOP primary before announcing his decision to retire, citing the need to spend more time with family after a long career in politics.
Davis was chosen by party officials from around the district from a field of more than two dozen interested potential candidates. Party officials said before making their decision that one key factor in weighing potential candidates would be the ability to quickly raise money, given the late start the eventual winner would have to make.
Since entering the campaign, Davis has emphasized a platform that is aligned closely in many ways with policy options favored by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
In a brief summary of his views from his campaign website, Davis says he'll work to decrease taxes for individuals and businesses and government regulation of business. He blames federal taxes and regulation for unemployment in central Illinois. The jobless rate in most of the 13th District hovers above 8 percent.
Davis' website also says he believes federal spending should be cut. The summary doesn't include details about what programs Davis would like to see cut, but does say he supports the creation of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. He also pledges to vote against any future increase in the debt ceiling unless it is accompanied by "significant, credible spending reforms."
Davis says he hopes to see the 2010 health care reform law repealed and replaced with "a market-based approach," but he doesn't spell out the details.
U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, who Davis worked for as projects director, has said he'll support Davis' run for Congress.
As he pushed to take Johnson's place on the ballot, Davis cited his experience working for Shimkus and working for a time as acting executive director of the state Republican Party. According to The State Journal-Register newspaper in Springfield, Davis told Sangamon County Republican leaders that while leading the state party he managed to pay off $300,000 it owed.
"When leaders make tough decisions, they should be judged on the success or the failure of the outcomes, and I don't think anyone can argue that my decisions have righted the ship and put Republicans statewide in a much better position to win this November," Davis said.
Source: Associated Press