Friday, October 24, 2008


Southern Illinois Senate Contest Could Break $$$ Record

Campaign contributions to election battles for four state legislative seats have passed the $1 million mark, and four others should soon reach the $1 million level, according to research by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR) and the Sunshine Project.

One of those campaigns – a contest for state senator from the most southern district in the state – could break the $2.4 million record for most money spent by candidates running for the Illinois General Assembly.

A total of at least $1.89 million in campaign contributions has been reported by the campaigns of Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, and Ken W. Burzynski, a Republican also from Benton, and both candidates are still collecting contributions to pay for advertising and other expenses in the final days of the campaign.

In 2004, the combined spending of campaigns by Forby and Ron Summers, his 2004 opponent, established a new spending record of $2.4 million.

The 2008 Forby-Burzynski contribution total stands at $1.89 million. That total, as well as others totals in this report, represents the available balance of funds for each candidate on June 30 and individual contributions reported by the campaigns between July 1 to October 24. The exact amount of spending won’t be made public until next January.

The races reporting the biggest fundraising totals to date follow:

• Senate District 59, total of $1,895,099 -- Forby, $1,112,395; and Burzynski, $782,703.

• Senate District 42, total of $1,381,057 -- Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, $715,692; and Terri Ann Wintermute, a Republican from Bolingbrook, $665,364.

• House District 85, total $1,156,874 – Rep. Brent Hassert, R-Romeoville, $740,784; and Emily Klunk-McAsey, Democrat from Lockport, $416,090.

• House District 92, total $1,050,014 – Jehan Gordon, Democrat from Peoria, $531,156; and Joan Gore Krupa, Republican from Peoria Heights, $518,857.

• Senate District 26, total of $894,306 – Dan Duffy, Republican from Lake Barrington, $732,099; and Bill Gentes, Democrat from Round Lake. $162,207.

• Senate District 45, total of $874,464 – Sen. Tim Bivins, R-Dixon, $712,721; and Marty Mulcahey, Democrat from Galena, $161,742.

• Senate District 33, total of $866,042 – Sen. Daniel W. Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, $628,285; and Michael H. Sweeney, Republican from Arlington Heights, $237,757.

• House District 69, total of $833,583 – Greg Tuite, Democrat from Rockford, $538,151; and Rep. Ronald A. Waite, R-Belvidere, $295,432.

• House District 17, total of $797,872 – Rep. Elizabeth Coulson, Republican from Glenview, $447,195; and Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, $350,676.

• House District 96, total of $701,086 – Dianne A. McGuire, Democrat from Naperville, $497,659; and Darlene J. Senger, Republican from Naperville, $203,427.

Because such large sums are being contributed to these candidates, most of these races appear to be competitive or were considered to be winnable by both parties at some time during the campaign season. However, the vast majority of legislative races are dominated by one candidate, and some incumbents don’t even have an opponent on the ballot.

All 118 House seats and 39 of the 59 Senate seats are at stake this year, but many of them are uncontested. Only 21 Senate seats and 60 House seats have two or more candidates on the ballot, and of those, only about 18 total appear to be attracting substantial contributions.

ICPR and the Sunshine Project are monitoring reports on those targeted races. For a chart of contribution totals on those races, visit