Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2012, 7:12 pm
Jacobs, Albracht race nears spending record
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By Eric Timmons, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Illinois Senate District 36 race between state Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, and Republican Bill Albracht is close to becoming the most expensive local state legislative election in history.
The two candidates have raised $1.423 million, just under the $1.449 million raised by former state Rep. Mike Boland and Republican Steve Haring in their 2006 election for state representative, with election day still weeks away.
Big money also is flowing into the race between state Rep. Rich Morthland, R-Cordova, and Democrat Mike Smiddy in District 71.
Mr. Smiddy has raised a total of $335,385 so far, including $83,531 in the third quarter, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Rep. Morthland raised $52,771 in the third quarter and has banked $126,522 to date. He hasn't gotten any financial help from House Republican leaders and has taken $7,000 in loans from himself and other family members to his campaign.
Mr. Smiddy has been able to rely on large contributions from the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, which has donated $117,000 to his campaign. As an employee of East Moline Correctional Center, Mr. Smiddy is a member of AFSCME Council 31.
In contrast to Rep. Morthland, Republican leaders are throwing money into Neil Anderson's campaign against state Rep. Pat Verschoore, D-Milan, in District 72.
Mr. Anderson, a Moline firefighter, out-raised Rep. Verschoore in the third quarter, according to the state board of elections, taking in $100,518 compared to the $92,000 raised by the incumbent.
Rep. Verschoore has raised $370,615 in total in the 2012 election cycle, compared to the $208,894 raised by Mr. Anderson. Rep. Verschoore had $188,000 cash on hand at the end of the quarter compared a big advantage over the $28,000 available to Mr. Anderson.
House Republican Leader Tom Cross's fundraising committee, the Illinois House Victory Fund and the18th District Republican Central Committee have all made sizable contributions to Mr. Anderson, who qualified for $100,000 in party funding when he joined the Republican "Young Guns" program.
In the state senate race, Sen. Jacobs has raised $972,956 to date, which includes money raised in his primary election against former Rep. Boland, while Mr. Albracht has raised $450,645, according to the latest campaign finance reports.
Third quarter fundraising reports were published by both campaigns Monday and showed that Mr. Albracht had raised $142,071 while Sen. Jacobs took in $251,206.
But since the end of the quarter on Sept. 30 both campaigns have seen big infusions of cash.
Mr. Albracht received $87,700 from the Republican State Senate Campaign Committee last week, which followed a $50,000 check from Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno's fundraising committee.
Also last week, Sen. Jacobs got $41,400 from the Democratic Party of Illinois and $24,000 from the Illinois Senate Democratic Victory Fund.
Republicans are playing offense in District 36, challenging an incumbent in traditionally Democratic territory. But the scale of the investment in Mr. Albracht's campaign by party leaders suggests they they like their candidate's prospects.
Sen. Jacobs maintains a financial advantage over his opponent, with $109,000 cash on hand at the end of the third quarter compared to Mr. Albracht's $55,000. He also should be boosted by a large Democratic turnout in Rock Island County, which typically is much larger than the Republican vote in presidential election years.