Candidates for governor raised 47% more in the 2006 Primary than candidates in the 2002 Primary spent, preliminary campaign finance reports show. The five candidates in the Republican primary combined for $20.1 million in fundraising, a surge of 35% over Republican spending four years ago, while the two Democratic candidates reported $19.8 million available for the Primary, which is 61% more than the three-candidate field spent in 2002. While it appears that not all of the money raised was spent, especially in the Democratic primary for governor, final campaign spending figures will not be available until July.
Top legislative contests were all in the Chicagoland region. The state Senate race with the most fundraising was in the 48th District in DuPage and Kane counties between State Rep. Randall Hultgren and Naperville City Councilman Dick Furstenau. The two combined for $630,800 in reported fundraising. The House contest with the most money was in the 29th District in south suburban Cook County between State Rep. David Miller and former Chicago Alderman Robert Shaw. They combined for $466,400 in fundraising.
Top fundraisers lost almost as often as they won. Republican Gubernatorial nominee Judy Baar Topinka came in third in reported fundraising, behind largely self-funded Ron Gidwitz and Jim Oberweis, and Cook County Board President John Stroger reported raising $914,000 less than challenger Forrest Claypool. Self-funded candidates saw mixed results: Senate candidates James Morici, House candidates Denny Driscoll and 5th District Appellate Court candidate Bill Berry all lost, while House candidates LaShawn Ford and Sam Cahnman both won; Ford was outraised by incumbent Rep. Calvin Giles. These races serve as a reminded that money is one component among many in a political campaign; candidates don't have to raise the most money in order to win.
ICPR has just (or will very soon) post estimates of fundraising for candidates in hot races between January 1, 2005 and the 2006 Primary Election on our 2006 Elections page. Figures are as of 9 am, Friday, March 24, 2006.