Photo by: Holly Hart

Holly Hart/The News-Gazette State Representative Carol Ammons hosts a “listening session” at the Champaign Public Library, while exploring a bid for U.S. 13th Congressional District seat currently held by U.S. Representative Rodney Davis. Sunday, June 4, 2017.

URBANA — Saying it was “one of the hardest decisions of my life,” State Representative Carol Ammons has decided not to run for Congress.

“With my deepest appreciation for your support and encouragement, I have decided not to run for the 13th Congressional District in 2018,” Ammons posted on her Facebook page on Monday night.

Ammons, D-Urbana, had been considering challenging incumbent Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, for the past two months and held several “listening sessions” throughout the district during that time.

“Across the 13th Congressional District, from Champaign-Urbana to Edwardsville, I heard you say that the issues and policies impacting your lives on a day-to-day basis, the ones pushing you into survival mode, crushing your families and dampening your children’s dreams, are primarily state issues,” Ammons said. “What I heard at the listening sessions, loudest and clearest, is that right now I am needed most in state government, fighting for Champaign-Urbana and all of Illinois in 2018.”

Ammons, a two-term state representative and former Urbana City Council and Champaign County Board member, said she intends to continue to serve in state government.

“Although many have asked me to run for Congress, many more have asked me to remain a voice in Springfield,” she said. “Right now, Springfield is where I need to be and I promise to continue to be your voice when you’re not there to speak for yourselves.”

Ammons said that, just because she is not pursuing a Congressional seat, she will continue her criticism of Davis.

“Make no mistake — I will still be using my voice to hold Congressman Davis accountable in the coming election,” Ammons said. “He voted to take health coverage away from more than 50,000 of his constituents and has refused to honor his constituent’s requests for town halls.”

During an appearance at the Champaign Public Library in June, Ammons had expressed concerns over raising enough money to challenge Davis.

“What prevents me from declaring tomorrow is the big dollar sign we’ve got to raise,” Ammons said. “If we can’t raise enough money to outspend Americans For Prosperity, which is supporting Rodney Davis and giving him the money, it makes it difficult for me to be competitive.”

The 13th Congressional District extends from Champaign-Urbana on the northeast to Collinsville and Edwardsville on the southwest. It includes all of Champaign-Urbana, Decatur and Springfield and parts of Bloomington-Normal.

Ammons did not immedately return calls from The News-Gazette for comment.

Ammons’ husband, Aaron Ammons, serves on the Urbana City Council.