Jerseyville pharmacist to challenge Cong. Davis

Ethan Vandersand has never run for political office, but the Jerseyville pharmacy owner opted to enter the 13th Congressional District race to provide what he feels is a more conservative alternative. He is on the March 15 Republican ballot, where he will face incumbent Rodney Davis (R-Taylorvlle). The winner will square off in November against Democrat Mark Wicklund and Independent candidate David Gill, who lost a close battle to Davis in 2012.

“God put it on my heart to do this. I’m not sure why, but after prayer and meditation He made it clear I’m supposed to do this,” said the 37-year-old Vandersand.

If elected, he said “the first thing I would do is defund Planned Parenthood. There is no reason for the government to fund a private organization,” he recently told the Journal-Republican. Vandersand called Davis out for voting for an omnibus spending bill that increased funding for Planned Parenthood.

Davis spokesman Ashley Phelps responded that Davis “has been endorsed by conservative groups like the National Right to Life Committee and the NRA. In fact, the National Right to Life Committee president agrees that shutting down the government does more harm than good to the pro-life cause,” said Phelps. The NRLC has instead encouraged legislators to wait on a possible defunding until a new president is elected.

Vandersand would also like to get the nation’s finances in order if he goes to Washington.

“There is too much borrowing. We owe over $1 million per household in debt. We all dream of being millionaires and they are spending that for us. It’s disgusting,” said the Jerseyville Republican, who owns the Medicine Shoppe in that community.

He also criticizes Davis for his voting record and ratings from conservative organizations including Heritage Action for America (34 percent) and Conservative Review (31 percent).

“Davis’ voting record is pleasing to the party bosses in Washington, D.C., but is out of touch with the conservative views and values of downstate Illinois.”

Phelps counters that Davis has voted multiple times to defund Planned Parenthood, helped reduced spending by more than $176 billion, pushed for passage of a new Farm Bill and voted to block the EPA’s Waters of the United States rule.

“The only thing he (Davis) won’t do that Mr. Vandersand apparently wants is to vote to shut down the government. Withholding funding for our troops, benefits for our veterans, and Social Security checks for seniors does nothing to advance Republicans’ conservative agenda,” Phelps said.

More about Vandersand
Vandersand, a native of Maryville, graduated from Collinsville High School in 1997 and earned his bachelor of science degree from the St. Louis College of Pharmacy in 2002. He and his wife Allison, also a pharmacist, live in Jerseyville with their son and daughter.



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