Finance reports filed Tuesday showed the distinct styles between the two major governor candidates: Republican Bruce Rauner, a wealthy first-time challenger who can tap deep pockets, is willing to raise and spend millions of dollars. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, a veteran of decades of campaigns, is content to hoard precious resources.
To that end, Quinn was able to stockpile $11.7 million in his campaign fund to begin July, while Rauner had more than $3.5 million in his political account.
But those figures alone don’t tell the whole story of campaign activity that took place from April through June, the three months covered in the reports filed on deadline day with the State Board of Elections.
Rauner, an equity investor with wealthy friends and his own fortune, raised more than $8 million during the second quarter and spent nearly $6 million during that period.
Though Rauner won a contentious four-way Republican primary in March, he continued to spend heavily on advertising to boost his image and to try to tarnish Quinn’s before potential general election voters. Rauner spent more than $3.1 million on TV ads, more than $107,000 on direct mail, nearly $30,000 online and $1,700 for promotional hats, shirts and jackets.
By contrast, Quinn, running in his second election as governor, raised nearly $3.75 million during the second quarter and spent $878,169. Among Quinn’s biggest contributors the last three months were the Service Employees International Union and the Democratic Governors Association, each with about $1 million in assistance.
But Quinn’s total three-month take was nearly eclipsed by a single Rauner donor, hedge-fund founder and CEO Kenneth Griffin, who donated more than $3 million to the Republican. That included a record one-time $2.5 million individual contribution, another $500,000 donation and the cost of letting Rauner use Griffin’s personal aircraft.
The candidates have continued raising money this month. Since July 1, Quinn has reported more than $520,000 in donations of $1,000 or more, including $200,000 from the International Association of Fire Fighters union. Rauner has reported receiving $853,450 in donations of $1,000 or more since the month began.
In addition, Rauner’s campaign on Tuesday began soliciting invitations to a July 25 Chicago fundraiser featuring Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor and potential 2016 presidential contender who also heads the Republican Governors Association. Tickets for the event range from $150 to $2,500 per couple though an invite noted “unlimited individual and corporate contributions are permitted.”
Rauner’s camp is expecting some financial help from the RGA in looking to defeat a sitting Democratic governor in President Barack Obama’s home state. The RGA poured millions of dollars into 2010 Republican nominee Bill Brady’s close loss to Quinn and has donated $1.5 million to Rauner since the primary.
Since launching his campaign in March 2013, Rauner has raised nearly $25.2 million, including nearly $6.6 million from his own personal funds.
In other statewide and congressional races:
*Democratic comptroller nominee Sheila Simon, currently the state’s lieutenant governor, reported more than $510,000 left as she takes on incumbent Republican Judy Baar Topinka.
Simon reported raising more than $181,000 in the three-month reporting period. Topinka’s report had not been filed late Tuesday, but she entered the quarter with more than $1.1 million.
*State Rep. Tom Cross of Oswego, the Republican candidate for state treasurer, reported almost $510,000 after raising nearly $556,000 during the second quarter after winning the March primary. He also had more than $17,000 in his state legislative campaign account.
Cross is facing Democratic state Sen. Michael Frerichs of Champaign. Frerichs’ report had not been filed, but he entered April with nearly $1.1 million after facing no opponent in the primary election.
*Mike Webster of Willowbrook, the Republican nominee for secretary of state, reported a little more than $13,000 left in his uphill challenge of four-term incumbent Democrat Jesse White.
White’s report had not yet been filed, but he entered the quarter with nearly $584,000 in his campaign bank account.
*Republican Paul Schimpf of Waterloo, who is taking on Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan, reported raising more than $27,600 and listed little more than $8,000 available to start this month. Madigan, daughter of House Speaker Michael Madigan, had not filed her report, but she began April with more than $4.7 million.
*In the north suburban 10th Congressional District, home of what is expected to be one of the most hotly contested House races in the country, Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider reported raising more than $801,000 and began July with more than $1.9 million.
Republican Robert Dold, who lost the seat to Schneider two years ago, reported raising more than $612,000 in the three-month period and had more than $1.65 million to start July.
*In a west and southwest suburban congressional contest, Republican state Rep. Darlene Senger of Naperville reported raising more than $193,000 and had $150,110 left to start July. Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster had not filed his report, but he began the reporting period in April with nearly $1.2 million.Copyright © 2015, CT Now