With the disclosure of large contributions on both sides of Justice Tom Kilbride's retention effort over the last five days, the campaign has met and exceeded the $3 million fundraising mark.
An updated ICPR analysis of fundraising in the retention campaign shows that the Democratic Justice's fundraising is outpacing that of his leading opponent by almost a 4-to-1 margin. Kilbride, from the 3rd Judicial District, has raised more than $2.48 million since July 1; more than half of that ($1,425,000) has come from the Democratic Party of Illinois. JUSTPAC, the Illinois Civil Justice League's political committee, has reported more than $667,000 in contributions.
(Illinois' previous most expensive retention campaign was logged a decade ago, when Supreme Court Justice Charles Freeman raised $235,799 in his successful bid to win another 10-year term.)
With combined fundraising of more than $3.1 million, the Kilbride retention campaign has become the nation's most expensive one-candidate retention election and the nation's second most expensive such contest, ever.
The campaign's oversized pricetag has drawn national attention -- even that of NPR.
The station visited Illinois, trekking through Kilbride's district and visiting ICPR's headquarters as well, to learn more about the campaign and the issues at play.