Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn stashed away nearly $9 million in campaign funds during the first three months of the year, but it’s likely he’ll need every cent of it and a lot more as he defends his seat against wealthy Republican challenger Bruce Rauner.
New campaign finance reports showed Rauner gave his campaign $5.3 million from January through March — more than the nearly $5 million Quinn was able to raise from a variety of donors during that time frame.
Overall, Rauner, an equity investor from Winnetka, raised nearly $9.2 million during the first quarter and spent more than $8.2 million in winning the GOP nomination last month over state Sens. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale and Bill Brady of Bloomington and Treasurer Dan Rutherford of Chenoa.
Rauner reported nearly $1.4 million left to start April, though that figure carries little relevance given his ability to write checks to his own campaign. Since entering the race in March 2013, Rauner has given $6.5 million to the campaign out of his own pocket.
In addition, state records show Rauner has given almost another $1 million to various Republican candidates and causes, including $600,000 for a petition drive for a proposed state constitutional amendment to limit legislators’ terms.
Among Rauner’s top donors this year is hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin, who gave $298,727, including $250,000 in cash and the rest in the donation of his airplane for the campaign.
Since April 1, Rauner has raised another $877,000 in large-dollar donations — $750,000 of which came from the Republican Governors Association. The RGA also gave Rauner $750,000 after he won the primary election March 18.
While Rauner faced a contested primary, Quinn had only a minor challenger in winning re-nomination and spent about $631,000 in the first three months of the year. Since April began, Quinn reported raising another $13,696.
Among Quinn’s top donors was the Service Employees International Union health care political action committee, with a $750,000 contribution, and prominent Democratic donor Fred Eychaner, who gave the governor’s campaign more than $500,000. Various political committees of the operating engineers union also gave $500,000.
Overall, 52 percent of the money Quinn raised came from organized labor. Quinn’s signing of a state pension overhaul is being challenged in court by public employee and teachers’ unions.
The governor also is expected to get significant financial help from the Democratic Governors Association. The group’s Illinois campaign fund raised more than $730,000 and had $705,000 left at the start of this month. Another fund affiliated with the DGA, the Jobs and Opportunity PAC, raised $260,000 and spent nearly $218,000, leaving $42,000 in the bank on April 1.
In the race for the U.S. Senate, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin had a campaign bankroll of more than $6 million after raising more than $771,000 in the first three months of the year. Republican challenger state Sen. Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove reported $473,000 left after raising $344,000 during the time period.
Democrats held a campaign fundraising advantage in statewide races for secretary of state, attorney general and treasurer, but not for comptroller. In that contest, Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka had $1.1 million left and Democratic challenger Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon had $399,000.
Among top area congressional races, the North Shore 10th District rematch between first-term Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider and the one-term Republican he unseated, Robert Dold, is expected to be close and their fundraising is indicative of that.
During the first three months of the year, Schneider collected about $557,000 to about $521,000 for Dold. At the end of March, Schneider still held a small edge in the amount of campaign cash in the bank, at $1.35 million, to Dold’s $1.29 million.
In the west suburban 11th District, Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster held a significant cash advantage over his Republican challenger, state Rep. Darlene Senger. Foster raised nearly $465,000 during the first three months of the year and had $1.2 million. Senger, meanwhile, raised about $96,000 over the same period while winning a contested primary last month and reported less than $41,000 left to start April.firstname.lastname@example.org