Career: Congressional district and campaign aide; party voter outreach state director; state government aide
Political highlights: Republican nominee for Ill. House, 1996; candidate for mayor of Taylorville, 2001
Rodney Davis, R-Ill. (13th District)
Davis aims to keep tax rates low, cut spending and tackle the national debt. He told Pantagraph, a Bloomington newspaper, that he would be "a common-sense, fiscally conservative Representative in Washington to help restore the economy, create jobs and cut wasteful, out-of-control spending."
Although he has never held elected office, Davis is poised to hit the ground running. He arrives on Capitol Hill having amassed 15 years as an aide to fellow Illinois Republican John Shimkus, working primarily in his former bossís district.
Davis hopes he can have an independent voice like his predecessor, Timothy V. Johnson. Davis says heís not afraid of compromise and heís ready to stand up to Republicans as well as Democrats.
He will likely put agriculture, a dominant industry in his district, on his list of top issues. "Illinois feeds the world," says Davis, who says the next farm bill must include strengthened crop-insurance and risk-management programs.
The husband of a nurse and cancer survivor supports a health care safety net, but would like to see the 2010 health care law repealed and replaced with a market-based approach.
Like Shimkus, Davis supports opening the outer continental shelf and drilling for oil in Alaskaís Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Davis was raised and still lives in Taylorville. He has a daughter and coaches his twin boysí Little League baseball team.
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Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.