Democrat House candidate Ann Callis, a former Illinois circuit judge, is running against GOP Rep. Rodney Davis in the state’s 13th Congressional District. The 13th is a politically competitive district, unlike the neighboring 15th District, where Callis has long called her home.
Callis is permitted to run for office in the 13th district under the law, but her account of where she lives raises questions about her ties there.
Last year, in 2013, when Callis announced her plans to run for Congress, she acknowledged that she currently lived outside the district. In an interview with Illinois political reporter Bernie Schoenberg, Callis said she was in the process of moving to a house in Edwardsville, inside the 13th District.
While keeping the house in Troy, she said, the move is no ruse. ‘I am honest, I speak the truth, and I sometimes probably go overboard and speak my mind,’ she said. ‘But I can assure you, I’m moving in there and I’m living there. And I’m going to travel that district and get to know as many people as I can.'”
A little over a month after that interview, she personally donated $5,200 to her campaign, listing an Edwardsville address as her home. Months later, however, in December 2013, Callis donated $250 to Friends of Dick Durbin and listed her previous residence in Troy, outside the 13th District, as her home.
Schoenberg originally reported that Callis was going to “buy” a home in the district. He later clarified clarified this to note that she hadn’t actually used the word “buy” but said she would be “getting a house” in Edwardsville. He did note that she added, “she wouldn’t claim to be “renting a house in Edwardsville” while living in Troy.”
While Callis is renting a house in Edwardsville, she isn’t yet prepared to put down firm roots in the 13th District. Earlier this year, a real estate listing for her rental stated that the current lease (Callis’) would expire June 1, 2014.
The listing has since been updated to state that the current lease will expire January 1, 2015, less than two months after the election.
Obtaining another home for a political bid is a less weighty financial decision for Callis than most Americans. According to her financial disclosure forms, in addition to her home in Troy, she owns houses in Scottsdale, AZ, Breckinridge, CO and St. Louis, MO and has assets of at least $3.3 million.
So, she should easily be able to purchase a home in Edwardsville should she prevail in November. She apparently just wants the voters to elect her first.
Callis’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment about why her lease expires shortly after the campaign ends.