The American Action Network said today that it has entered the 13th Congressional District race against Democrat David Gill.
According to the Federal Election Commission, the conservative group chaired by former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., spent $183,747 last week on television ads and internet advertising against Gill.
In a press release the group said it would spend $350,000 to defeat the Democratic candidate, an emergency room physician from Bloomington. It said it would run ads on broadcast television in the St. Louis market, including a spot called "Radical Ideas," highlighting Gill's support for a single-payer national health care program.
It must be some indication of Gill's polling strength that third-party groups, supposedly independent of Republican candidate Rodney Davis, so far have spent more than $400,000 to defeat Gill.
The FEC says that more than $710,000 has been spent so far in the 13th Congressional District race by independent groups, including the American Action Network, the New Prosperity Foundation, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
In addition to Gill and Davis, independent John Hartman is running in the 13th District which runs from Champaign-Urbana southwest to the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis.