Incumbent mayor has head start on fundraising

Incumbent mayor has head start on fundraising

No surprise here, but incumbent Mayor Jerry Schweighart has a big head start on his challengers as far as fundraising is concerned.

As of Oct. 3, Schweighart had $6,525.16 in his campaign fund, according to online Illinois State Board of Elections records. Here's a list of all the reports filed by the committee, Gerald J. Schweighart for Mayor, and the most recent report.

Another search shows that his challenger Don Gerard has organized a campaign committee, Friends of Don Gerard, but the committee has yet to report any contributions. Here's the committee's statement of organization, which you'll see was filed on Sept. 29.

A third search of campaign disclosure reports using challenger Charles Mingee's name turns out no results, which leads me to believe he has yet to report any contributions or that he has organized a campaign fund.

Money is a much less significant factor in local elections than it is in state or federal elections, though. The bulk of local campaigning is done with door-to-door handshakes and roadside signs as opposed to the political attack commercials that have become somewhat trite in the past couple weeks. And all the candidates still have plenty of time to campaign before the April 5, 2011, election.

As far as I can tell, there are no new city council candidates since I last updated you. Council members Tom Bruno, Deborah Frank Feinen, Karen Foster and Gordy Hulten are all running for re-election, but any potential challengers for their council seats have yet to make their presence known.

By the way, the Illinois State Board of Elections website is a great source of election information for voters if you've never visited. It is also a great tool for journalists who want to check out where the candidates are getting their money, whether it be from private individuals, corporations or lobbyists.

The searches aren't exactly intuitive, so you kind of need to know how to use them. Here's a link to search for campaign contributions. You'll see there are two fields to search for a last name -- the last name field near the top of the search is if you want to search for the contributor, and the last name field closer to the bottom is if you want to search for the contributee.

And keep in mind, you can use this website to research any candidate for anything, past or present (as far back as about the mid-1990s, anyway), in the state of Illinois. So just for fun, type "Blagojevich" into that last name field toward the bottom and see what comes up.

And a shameless plug: Be sure to make this blog your go-to source for city of Champaign election updates by saving this link: .

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John O'Connor wrote on October 18, 2010 at 6:10 pm

No amount of money can erase the fact that Mayor Schweighart believes in an absolutely insane conspiracy theory regarding President Obama. I wonder what other crazy beliefs he subscribes to.