As campaign season enters the home stretch before the Tuesday, Nov. 6 Gubernatorial General Election, spending by political parties on local candidates running for seats in Springfield and on the Cook County Board has topped a whopping $3.8 million.

Advertising, especially negative ads, paid for through political parties, give candidates cover, as those candidates are not responsible for saying, “I approved this message.” Direct mail pieces are sent via U.S. Mail to targeted voters and avoid the scrutiny of media and other watchdogs who have access to television commercials and websites.

Democratic Party spending is outpacing Republican Party spending on Journal-area candidates by a more than 3-to-1 margin. Democratic Party related campaign committees have spent more than $2.98 million on local races at the state and county levels, while Republican Party related organizations spent more than $867,000, a review of the latest campaign disclosure figures shows.

Spending ranged from direct payroll payments for campaign staffers, to printing and postage for direct mailers, polling, telephone calls, other research, consulting and direct cash transfers to candidate campaign committees.

The local candidate receiving the most direct party support is State Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-23rd), who collected $2.96 million from the Illinois Senate Democratic Victory Fund. The 23rd District includes a small part of Elk Grove Village in DuPage County.

Cullerton’s challenger Seth Lewis received $7,100 from the Illinois Republican State Senate Campaign Committee. However, in the 2016 election cycle, the state senate committee gave Lewis a direct cash transfer of more than $757,000 in October of that year.

 

On the Republican side, as of last week, Eddie Corrigan, running for the seat of retiring State Rep. David Harris (R-53rd), received the most support from party campaign committees. Most of his $628,000 came from the House Republican Organization, with other donations from the Illinois Republican Party and Citizens for Durkin (of House Republican Leader Jim Durkin) in both the general and primary election cycles.

Democrats, who want to flip Harris’ seat, gave Corrigan’s opponent Mark Walker, a former state representative and current Wheeling Township Democratic committeeman, more than $344,000 in in-kind donations. The money will go toward printing and postage for direct mailers, polling, “persuasion calls,” digital advertising and polling.

The 53rd State House District includes parts of Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights and Wheeling.

One race, the 55th state house race between incumbent Democrat Marty Moylan (D-55th) and Marilyn Smolinski, saw little party spending on either side.

Moylan, whose campaign war chest exceeds a half a million dollars, only saw donations from the Illinois Democratic Party for postage start coming in at the end of September. As of Monday, he received $19,040 from the party. Much of Moylan’s other contributions come from labor and trades political action committees, businesses and individuals.

Moylan’s opponent Marilyn Smolinski received no support from state GOP campaign committees. In the general election cycle, her largest donation, $11,000, came from the Illinois Opportunity Project, a group linked to conservative pundit Dan Proft. Smolinski also received $3,000 from Proft’s Illinois Liberty PAC and $1,000 from Maine Township Republican Committeeman Char Foss-Eggemann.       

Another race Democrats have invested heavily in to flip is the 27th State Senate seat held by Republican Tom Rooney.

A Democratic state senate campaign fund gave Rooney’s challenger, Ann Gillespie, more than $612,000 in direct cash contributions and in-kind donations for campaign staff, printing and postage for direct mailers and research.

A GOP senatorial campaign committee gave Rooney more than $43,000 in in-kind donations for staff, staff travel expenses and digital advertising.

Cook County Republican and Democratic campaign committees also made major contributions to area candidates for county board.

In the 15th District, Elk Grove Village resident Kevin Morrison is challenging incumbent Cook County Commissioner Tim Schneider, who is also chairman of the Illinois Republican Party.

Morrison received nearly $116,000 from the Cook County Democratic Party, chaired by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, for in-kind donations including direct mailers, polling and research.

Schneider has not yet received any donations from GOP party campaign funds in the 2018 general election cycle.

The 15th Cook County district includes parts of Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village, Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights and Rolling Meadows.

Another Republican county seat Democrats hope to flip is in the 14th District where Glenview Village Trustee Scott Britton is challenging incumbent Republican Gregg Goslin.

Britton received more than $109,000 from county Democrats for direct mailers, polling and consulting. Goslin has received no party contributions in the 2018 general election cycle, campaign disclosures filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections show.

The following is a breakdown of major funding from Democratic and Republican parties for candidates running in November’s election to represent state and county districts:

 

State Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-23rd).

State Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-23rd)

Representing part of Elk Grove Village in Journal-area.

Donor – Illinois Senate Democratic Victory Fund

$1,296,063 – Total cash transfers and in-kind donations

Direct cash transfers and in-kind donations for campaign staff, media, printing and postage.

 

State Rep. candidate Eddie Corrigan (R-53rd).

State Rep. candidate Eddie Corrigan (R-53rd)

$628,705 – Total Republican Party related direct or in-kind donations in the primary and general election cycles.

Donor – House Republican Organization:

$562,601 – Total for spending to date since start of 2018.

$174,653  – Total general election spending from March 21, 2018 to date.

$387,948 – Total primary election spending between Jan. 1, 2018 and March 20, 2018

Cash transfers and in-kind donations for staff payroll, staff travel, office rental, digital advertising, printing and postage, research, phone calls and digital advertising.

Donor – Illinois Republican Party:

$58,159 – Total in-kind general election spending to date.

In-kind donations for campaign mailers.  

Donor – Citizens For Durkin (Jim Durkin, House Republican leader):

$7,945 – Total primary election direct donations and in-kind donations for photography.

 

State Sen. candidate Ann Gillespie (D-27th) at August’s No Place For Hate rally in Elk Grove Village.

State Sen. candidate Ann Gillespie (D-27th)

Donor – Illinois Senate Democratic Victory Fund:

$612,115 – Total general election in-kind and direct cash spending to date.

Direct cash transfers and in-kind donations for campaign staff, printing and postage for direct mailers and research.

 

State Rep. candidate Mark Walker (D-53rd).

State Rep. candidate Mark Walker (D-53rd)

Donor – Democratic Party of Illinois:

$344,353 – Total general election spending to date.   

Cash transfer in and in-kind donations for printing and postage for mailers, digital advertising, persuasion calls and polling.

 

State Rep. candidate Maggie Trevor (D-54th).

State Rep. candidate Maggie Trevor (D-54th)

Donor – Democratic Party of Illinois:

$310,646 – Total general election campaign spending to date.

In-kind donations for printing and postage for mailers, digital advertising, persuasion calls and polling.

 

Cook County Commissioner candidate Kevin Morrison (D-15th).

Cook County Commissioner candidate Kevin Morrison (D-15th)

Total – $155,947 general election in-kind donations.

Donor – Cook County Democratic Party:

In-kind donations for polling, research and mailers.

 

State Rep. Tom Morrison (R-54th).

State Rep. Tom Morrison (R-54th)

Representing parts of Arlington Heights, Palatine and Rolling Meadows.

$117,807 – Total Republican Party related direct cash or in-kind donations.

Donor – House Republican Organization:

$68,922 – Total general election cash transfers in to date.

Donor – Republican State Senate Campaign Committee:

$43,364 – Total general election spending to date.

In-kind donations for staff and payroll, digital advertising, photography and travel.

Donor – Illinois Republican Party:

$5,521 – Total general election spending to date.

In-kind donation for campaign mailers.

 

Cook County Commissioner candidate Scott Britton (D-14th).

Cook County Commissioner candidate Scott Britton (D-14th)

Total – $109,472 general election in-kind donations.

Donor –  Cook County Democratic Party:

In-kind donations for mailers, polling, research and consulting.

 

State Sen. candidate Barrett Davie (R-29th).

State Sen. candidate Barrett Davie (R-29th)

$71,550 – Total Republican Party related cash donations in the primary and general election cycles.

Donor – Illinois Republican Party:

$60,800 – Total general election cash transfers in to date.

Donor – Republican State Senate Campaign Committee:

$10,750 – Total primary election cash donations.

 

State Sen. Julie Morrison (D-29th).

State Sen. Julie Morrison (D-29th)

Representing parts of Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Des Plaines, Glenview, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights, Palatine and Wheeling.

Donor – Illinois Senate Democratic Victory Fund:

$42,005 – Total general election in-kind donations for staff, research, website design and event expenses.

 

State Rep, Michelle Mussman (D-56th).

State Rep. Michelle Mussman (D-56th)

Representing parts of Elk Grove Village and Schaumburg.

$50,329 – Total in-kind Democratic Party related general election donations.

Donor – Democratic Party of Illinois:

$40,177 – Total general election campaign spending to date.

In-kind donations for printing and postage.

Donor – Democratic Majority:

$10,152 –  Total general election campaign spending to date for staff.

 

State Rep. Jonathan Carroll (D-57th).

State Rep. Jonathan Carroll (D-57th)

Representing parts of Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Des Plaines, Glenview, Mount Prospect, Northbrook and Prospect Heights.

$46,381 – Total in-kind Democratic Party related general election donations.

Donor – Democratic Party of Illinois:

$38,728  – Total general election campaign spending to date.

In-kind donations for printing and postage.

Donor – Democratic Majority:

$7,652 – Total general election spending to date for staff.

 

State Sen. Tom Rooney (R-27th)

State Sen. Tom Rooney (R-27th)

Representing parts of Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights, Palatine and Rolling Meadows.

$43,364 – Total general election in-kind donations for staff payroll, staff travel, photography and digital advertising.

Donor – Republican State Senate Campaign Committee

 

State Rep. candidate Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D-17th).

State Rep. candidate Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D-17th)

Donor – Democratic Majority:

$30,271 – Total general election spending to date.

In-kind donations for polling and a texting application.

 

State Sen. candidate Ram Villivalam (D-8th)

State Sen. candidate Ram Villivalam (D-8th)

Donor – Illinois Senate Democratic Victory Fund:

$24,060 – Total general election cash and in-kind donations and spending to date.

Direct cash and in-kind donations for campaign staff.

 

State Rep. Marty Moylan (D-55th).

State Rep. Marty Moylan (D-55th)

Representing parts of Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Park Ridge and unincorporated Maine Township.

Donor – Democratic Party of Illinois:

$19,040 – Total general election in-kind donations for postage for campaign mailers.  

 

State Rep. candidate Marilyn Smolenski (R-55th).

State Rep. candidate Marilyn Smolinski (R-55th)

Donor – Illinois Opportunity Project:

$11,000 – Total general election donations.

Donor – Illinois Liberty PAC:

$3,000 – Total general election donations.

Donor – Northwest Side GOP Club:

$1,500 – Total in-kind general election donations for campaign office rent and utilities.

Donor – Friends of Char (Maine Township Republican Committeeman):

$1,000 – Total general election donation.

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