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Money race heats up for local campaigns
As summer rolls on, candidates for office continue to raise funds to finance what are expected to be several hot campaigns for Congress and the state Legislature in the fall.
The latest figures from mandatory quarterly disclosure reports filed by those candidates show some close totals and aggressive fundraising, particularly in the 17th Congressional District, which includes part of Peoria and Tazewell counties for the first time in decades.
For the 3rd quarter in a row, Democratic challenger Cheri Bustos, a former health care executive and East Moline alderwoman, outraised incumbent U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling. However, the Colona Republican still has a heftier war chest going into the summer.
Schilling reported raising $345,036 by June 30 and spent $235,941. He started the month with $945,249 in the bank. Bustos, by contrast, raised $478,717, spent $117,773 and had $829,442 on hand at the end of the reporting period.
Matters were markedly quieter in the 18th Congressional District, where U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock has a hefty bank balance and isn’t expected to face serious competition in his bid for a third term.
Democratic opponent Steve Waterworth, who twice unsuccessfully challenged Schock’s predecessor Rep. Ray LaHood for the post, did not raise enough during the last three months to necessitate filing a fundraising report.
Schock brought in $271,385 over that time period, spent $160,245 and sits on a campaign account worth $2,828,383.
Meanwhile, candidates continued to raise money in two Statehouse races expected to be among the hotter downstate contests this fall between Republicans and Democrats battling for control of the Legislature.
In the 46th Senate District, which includes parts of Peoria, Tazewell and Fulton counties, state Sen. Dave Koehler brought in $71,142, spent $38,847, and ended the reporting quarter with $162,204 on hand. The Peoria Democrat is being challenged by Republican developer and restaurateur Pat Sullivan, who raised $53,839, spent nearly the same amount at $51,056, and reported $106,071 on hand at the close of June.
The 91st House District, also covering parts of Peoria, Tazewell and Fulton counties, features a contest between first-term incumbent Rep. Mike Unes and Jennifer Groves Allison. The East Peoria Republican raised $76,250, spent $13,424 and ended June with $301,405 to defend his seat. Allison, a Democrat, raised $17,147 and spent $3,272 over the same time period, ending with a bank balance of $39,341.