- - Sunday, May 20, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Republican leaders have chosen a November ballot replacement for longtime Republican Rep. Timothy V. Johnson after he abruptly announced his retirement last month.

GOP officials from 14 counties settled on Rodney Davis on Saturday. He’s an aide to Republican Rep. John Shimkus and was among four candidates being considered. The others included Mr. Johnson’s former chief of staff, Jerry Clarke, and attorney and former Miss America Erika Harold.

Mr. Davis faces Democrat David Gill, a physician.

According to a statement, Republican officials say Mr. Davis was their unanimous choice for the newly created 13th District. It stretches across parts of central and southwestern Illinois.

Mr. Johnson won the GOP nomination in Illinois’ March primary. In April, he dropped his re-election campaign, citing family reasons.

Mr. Johnson first took office in 2001.

CONGRESS

Party leaders refuse to budge on debt stance

Republicans and Democrats aren’t budging when it comes to their already hardened positions on spending cuts versus tax increases to deal with the nation’s debt.

House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky both said Sunday that when Congress is asked to raise the nation’s borrowing cap after the election, they’ll insist on spending cuts to offset the increase. Mr. McConnell said it was the “perfect time” to have a broader debt discussion.

Meanwhile, top Democratic leaders said the GOP stance was irresponsible. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that Mr. Boehner “wants to go over the edge.”

A partisan showdown over the debt ceiling issue last year caused a downgrading of the U.S. government’s credit rating.

Mr. Boehner and Mrs. Pelosi spoke on ABC’s “This Week.” Mr. McConnell appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

WHITE HOUSE

Bush to return to Washington for official portrait event

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