Incumbent Metro East GOP reps hold big funding advantages

By Bob Pieper For Chronicle Media

National Democratic Party leaders are once again targeting two of Metro East’s three Congressional Districts; all currently held by Republicans.

However, the latest round of federal campaign finance reports — covering activity through Dec. 31, 2017 and filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Jan. 14 — suggests each of the three GOP incumbents is mounting a formidable defense.

12th Congressional District

Rep. Michael Bost of Murphysboro

In the 12th Congressional District, incumbent Republican Michael Bost of Murphysboro has so far raised a total of $961,293 for his campaign; with more than half —$542,307 — coming from political action committees (PACs). However, Rep. Bost has also received $418,894 from individuals; with no money yet raised from GOP party organizations or campaign self-funding, and $92 received from other sources.

The Bost campaign has so far spent $282,690; leaving it with $686,012 in cash on hand, and $38,907 in debt.

Preston Nelson of Benton, the only other candidate on the Republican primary ballot in the 12th District, has reported no campaign funding, expenditures, or debt.

Rep. Bost’s leading Democratic challenger, St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly, has so far raised $672,334; the great majority of that, $545,126, from individuals. However, Kelly has also garnered $123,650 in PAC funding.

He has reported $3,516 in campaign self-funding, including in-kind services, and $42 from Democratic party organizations. Kelly lists no miscellaneous sources of campaign funding in his FEC filings.

The Kelly campaign has so far spent $151,810, leaving it with $520,524 currently in the treasury and no debt.

St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly

The only other actively campaigning and fundraising candidate in the 12th District Democratic primary race, activist David Allan Bequette of Columbia, has raised $9,708 — all in contributions from individuals.  He has expended $8,320 of that; leaving his campaign with $1,388 in cash on hand, but no debt.

The only other Democratic candidate in the district to report any fundraising, Mascoutah City Council member Pat McMahan, has raised $575, all in individual contributions, but McMahon announced in October he was terminating his congressional campaign.

Nathan Charles Colombo of Carbondale, Adam Joshua King of Alton, Charles Dean Pruitt of Millstadt, and Charles Koen of Cairo all filed as Democratic congressional candidates in the 12th District last year, but have since terminated their campaigns.  All reported no campaign funding, expenditures, or debt.

Colombo formally announced the end of his congressional bid last July.  King announced he was terminating his campaign in October. Pruitt announced in November he was no longer seeking the Democratic nomination in the district.

The Illinois State Board of Elections removed Koen from the ballot after an elections board examiner ruled 349 signatures of the 955 signatures on his nominating petitioner were invalid.

Democrat Chris Miller of Roxanna last year announced a bid for the 12th District Congressional seat but the FEC website indicates he never formally filed as a candidate and has reported no campaign finance information,

District 12 Green Party candidate Randy Auxier of Muphysboro reports no campaign funding, expenditures, or debt.

13th Congressional District

In District 13, incumbent Rep. Rodney L. Davis of Taylorville has so far raised $1,402,402 for his reelection campaign; with PACs accounting for $991,408.  Rep. Davis has raised $385,036 from individuals, $1,400 from Republican Party organizations, with no campaign self-funding, but $24,558 from other sources.

Rep. Rodney L. Davis of Taylorville

The Davis campaign has already spent $697,720; however, that still leaves the campaign with $1,101,482, and no debt, according to the FEC reports.

Among Rep. Davis’ Democratic challengers: Erik C. Jones of Edwardsville leads in fundraising with $353,399 in his campaign treasury nearly all, $343,949, coming from individual donors.

Jones has received $5,000 from PACs but no funding from Democratic Party organizations.  He has contributed $4,450 to his own campaign and reports no funding from miscellaneous sources.

The Jones campaign has so far spent $115,554, leaving $237,845 in the campaign treasury with no debt.

Betsy Dirksen Longrigan of Springfield has raised $348,363; with nearly all, $319,298, coming in the form of individual donations.

She has received $12,690 in PAC contributions but no Democratic Party funds. Longrigan reports $13,723 in campaign self-funding, mostly in-kind services, and $2,652 from other sources.

The Longrigan campaign has so far expended $110,623; leaving $237,740 in its coffers, with no debt.

Jonathan Hans Ebel of Urbana has raised $207,298; almost all of which, $203,913, has come from individual contributions. Self-funding from the candidate in the amount of $3,386 accounts for virtually all of the rest. Ebel reports no PAC or Democratic Party funding, and the FEC website oddly reports other funding sources have cost the Ebel campaign a dollar.

The Ebel campaign has so far spent $71,585, leaving $134,355 currently in the treasury, with no debt.

Erik C. Jones of Edwardsville

Emergency room physician David Michael Gill of Bloomington reports raising $70,454; almost all of that, $67,397, in individual contributions.  Dr. Gill has received $100 from PACs, no Democratic Party funding, and $2,188 in funding from other sources.  He has contributed $769 to his own campaign.

However, his campaign has already spent $67,297; leaving it with only $3,403 in the treasury. The campaign reports no debt.

Two other Democratic 13th District challengers — teacher and activist Angel Sides of Springfield, and Benjamin Adam Webb Normal —have reported no fundraising expenditures, or debt since filing their candidacies in the district.

15th Congressional District

In District 15, incumbent Republican John Shimkus reports $945,121 in campaign funding; with the lion’s share, $847,212, coming from PACs.  Rep. Shimkus has received $89,765 campaign contributions from individuals and $8,144 from other sources.

However, he has received no funds from Republican Party organizations.  Unlike many candidates in this year’s elections, he is not using any of his personal funding to bankroll his campaign.

To date, the Rep. Shimkus campaign has spent $674,845, but still has $1,106,565 in its treasury, with no debt.

Rep. Shimkus’ leading Democratic challenger, Carl Spoerer of Mahomet, has just $17,591 in his campaign war chest, with most of that, $12,774, coming from a personal loan to his campaign.  He has raised another $4,317 from individuals and $500 from the Democratic Party.

He has received no funds from PACs or miscellaneous sources.  Having already spent $15,267, his campaign currently has just $2,324 in cash on hand, plus the $12,774 debt.

Democrat Kevin Gaither of Charleston has raised $5,981 for his campaign: $5,951 in individual contributions plus $30 in self-funding.  He has so far spent $3,497; leaving $2,484 in his campaign treasury with no debt.

The other Democratic hopeful in the 15th District, Anthony James March of Danville, has raised $821 for his campaign: $545 in contributions from individuals plus $276 in self-funding. However, he has already spent all $821; leaving his campaign with no cash on hand, but, at least, no debt.




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