Rodney Davis campaign targets media, quadrupled advertising in 2018

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US House Office of Photography

Rodney Davis's most recent official photograph.

Davis’s campaign spent nearly $4.1 million in the 2018 election cycle. In the 2016 cycle, he spent $2.4 million.

Faced with a tough opponent, Congressman Rodney Davis nearly doubled the amount he had spent in 2016.

Davis’s opponent in the 2018 election, Betsy Londrigan, actually spent more than Davis with a total of about $4.3 million. The majority of her money went to the category of media buy with the company Sage Media Planning and Placement.

Davis’s office did not return calls for comments. 

Davis spent the most on media placement, or advertising, most of this going to the company Strategic Media Services.

Davis spent the second most on fundraising consulting. A large amount of money in this category was paid to the Gula Graham Group, which specializes in fundraising for members of congress. Davis paid a total of $502,381 to the firm in the 2018 election cycle. 

Additionally, Gula Graham is the largest recipient of Davis’ money so far in 2019, with $191,000 being paid to the company.

The Gula Graham website states that it “has helped raise over $318 million for clients in the House and Senate.”

The next two highest amounts were digital consulting and salary. These were $193,006 and $174,889. Davis paid his campaign manager, Matt Butcher, a salary of $95,000 in 2018.

Davis also spent at least $160,000 on political contributions. These contributions included Dan Caulkins, a representative for Illinois’ 101st district, and Kurt Prenzler, a Madison County board chairman.

Londrigan also spent $135,916 on polling. Davis had only spent $62,250 on that category. Additionally, Londrigan spent less than Davis on both fundraising and digital media consulting.

Davis’s campaign spent $30,228 dollars on airline flights, $5,000 on baseball event tickets and $300 on a GOP golf outing. The Davis campaign has spent a large amount of money on the ride-sharing app Uber, raking up a total amount of $4,238 for 2016.

One of the Davis campaign’s favorite restaurants appears to be Chick-Fil-A, as he spent over $800 there in 2018. However, a local Champaign restaurant, Desthil, ranks lower on the list, with Davis spending around $450 there. 

Based on his spending, Davis has also visited the NRA shooting range, spending about $343 there.

The organization that received the most of Davis’s money was Strategic Media Services. This company specializes in advertising for political candidates. Davis paid Strategic Media Services a total of $1.9 million in the 2018 election cycle.

So far in the 2020 election, Davis has spent $462,115. Currently, his top five costs are fundraising consulting, fundraising commission, digital consulting, salary, and food and beverage. 

Londrigan is planning to challenge Davis again in 2020 and has spent a total of $251,360.

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