Southwest Illinois campaigns among state’s most expensive

By Bob Pieper For Chronicle Media

Christopher Belt

Some Metro East races for the Illinois General Assembly remain among the costliest of 2018 election cycle, according to the campaign finance tracking organization, Illinois Sunshine (

The group’s ranking is based on the most recent round campaign finance disclosures filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE). Campaign contribution reports covering the second quarter of 2018 were due in the ISBE offices on July 17.

In general, the reports show Democrats across Metro East enjoy substantial fundraising leads over their Republican rival in the Nov. 6 general election.

The 48th State Senate District remains the scene of the most contested state senate race in Illinois, according to the campaign tracking service.

Democratic Incumbent State Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill and Republican Seth McMillan of Taylorville have so far together raised a total of $1,658,817.24.

However, Friends of Andy Manar Funds reported $361,498.95 in its treasury at the end second quarter of this year along — with another $465,319.12 raised since.  That gives the Manar campaign a total of $826,818.07 in cash on hand.

Friends for Seth McMillan had a mere $7,037.43 in its treasury at the end of the most recent reporting period; with no fundraising reported since.

Even with state and local party organizations, well as major business and labor PAC, across Illinois soliciting contributions at a pre-election fever-pitch, Friends of Manar ranked ninth among all state-registered political organizations in fundraising over the past 30 days — and 11th statewide in total funding, according to Illinois Sunshine.

In the 56th State Senate District, Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton reported $14,345.35 in his campaign treasury at the end of June, with another $21,400 in funds raised since. That gives the Citizens for Patton a total of $35,745.35, but with $10,000 in outstanding debt.

Through long registered as a Republican, Patton is running for the state senate as an independent, after being removed from the GOP ballot in a legal skirmish with supporters of his Democratic rival, Madison County Assistant State’s Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe of Edwardsville.

Tanya Hildenbrand

Rachelle Aud Crowe for Senate had $207,907.91 in its treasury at the end of June — with $7,265.78 in funds contributed since — for a current total $215,173.69 in cash on hand.

Crowe for Senate is the 83rd “top earning” political fundraising organization in the state, on a list of 100 compiled by Illinois Sunshine.

The 57th State Senate District, on other hand could be one of the lowest-dollar races for the Illinois Senate this year.

Republican political novice and Scott Air Force Base employee Tanya Hildenbrand reported a mere $1,200 in fundraising at the end of the second quarter reporting period, with no contributions since and no debts or obligations.

Democrat Christopher Belt reported $42,713.52 at the end of the second quarter, with $6,598.66 raised since, for a current total of $49,312.18 in cash on hand.

Hildenbrand hopes to repeat her victory in the GOP primary; during which she declared no campaign fundraising but defeated high-profile political activist and businessman Bob Romanik, who pledged to self-fund his campaign with up to $50,000, according to ISBE filings.

The 113th District continues to represent the second most expensive race for the Illinois House of Representatives this year, according to Illinois Sunshine. Incumbent Democrat Jay Hoffman and Republican challenger Doug Jamerson have raised a total of $1,310,605.81 campaign funding.

However, Rep. Hoffman has raised $1,281,891.27, while Jamerson has raised only $28,714.54.

Only in the Chicago area’s 82nd House District has more money been raised for an Illinois House seat during the current election cycle. There Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and Democratic challenger Tom Chlystek have raised a total of $4,832,119.90.

The Committee to Elect Jay C. Hoffman is the 48th “top earning” political fundraising organization in the state, on a list of 100 compiled by Illinois Sunshine.

Hal Patton

In the 107th State House District, Republican Blaine Wilhour and Democrat David Seiler have together raised $213,392.74 so far, this year — with Wilhour raising $69,671.50 and Seiler just $7,588.58. Incumbent Republican 107th District Rep. John Cavaletto is not running for reelection.

In the 108th State House District, incumbent Republican Rep. Charlie Meier has raised a total of $459,634.94 so far in this election cycle, despite facing no opposition on the fall ballot.

In the 111th State House District, Republican Wood River Township Supervisor Mike Babcock has raised $28,543.60 so far over the course of his campaign. However, the district’s recently appointed incumbent, Rep. Monica Bristow, has raised $50,507.00 — all during the last reporting period. Rep. Bristow, a Democrat, took office late last year after the surprise resignation of then-Rep. Dan Beiser.

In the 112th State House District, incumbent first-term Democrat Katie Stuart likewise holds a roughly two-to-one fundraising lead over former her GOP challenger, Republican former 112th District representative Dwight Kay. Rep. Stuart has to date raised a total of$256,295.93 for her campaign.

Kay has raised $103,990.83, but with $33,955.00 in independent expenditures also supporting his campaign.

In the 114th House District, incumbent Democrat LaToya N. Greenwood reports $66,129.72 in her campaign coffers while Republican challenger Jason Madlock reports nothing.

In the 116th House District, Democratic incumbent Jerry Costello II, who has raised $431,449.49 for his campaign, holds a commanding fundraising lead over Republican David Friess, who reports just $14,714.66.






— Southwest Illinois campaigns among state’s most expensive —-