By Kevin Barlow
With only a week left before Election Day, Democratic congressional candidate Ann Callis stumped in Bloomington on Tuesday with hopes of encouraging Illinois Wesleyan and Illinois State University students to work hard on getting the vote out.
Callis and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky met with about 25 Democratic supporters at Memorial Center on the Wesleyan campus.
"We need everyone to get out and work to reflect the values that we believe in like raising the minimum wage, paycheck fairness, and being against the philosophy of the Republican budget, which gives tax breaks to millionaires," she said.
She praised the effort of Wesleyan students who have campaigned on her behalf in the past.
"You are the heart and soul of my campaign," she said. "You are the ones who are going to put us over the top and I appreciate all that you do."
Callis, a former Madison County judge, is in a battle with incumbent U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, a Republican from Taylorville, for the 13th Congressional District seat. Davis, who replaced incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson on the ballot after the 2012 primary, narrowly defeated Twin City physician David Gill to win the seat.
"We lost this seat in 2012 by less than 1,000 votes, and that was the closest race in the country in which a Republican won," Schakowsky said. "That is why it is so important to make sure that everyone realizes that every vote can be so important."
Brexton Isaacs, president of the College Democrats of Illinois and the Illinois Wesleyan College Democrats, said Callis has proved she has the best interests of college students at heart.
"Ann has been on campus a number of times in the past year and unfortunately, we haven't seen Congressman Davis a single time on campus during his entire time in office, or even on the campaign trail. It shows how committed Ann is to the concerns of college-aged voters."
Callis said she will remain busy through Election Day.
"We have already been all over Central Illinois today and our schedule will remain ... fast and furious right through next Tuesday," she said. "We are down to the wire and it can be exhausting, but seeing the college students really gives me a boost of energy because I know they are working so hard to help us accomplish our goals and they are going to make the difference in this campaign."