Democratic state treasurer candidate Mike Frerichs of Champaign reports having $769,502 in his campaign fund on Sept. 30, a comfortable level for a period more than a year out from Election Day.
His potential Republican opponent, state Rep. Tom Cross of Oswego, reported having less than a quarter of Frerichs' war chest — $150,251. But Cross, who until recently had been the Republican leader in the Illinois House of Representatives, got a later start in the campaign. Two other Republican candidates for treasurer, DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan amnd Michael Scott Carter of Chicago, had not filed campaign reports as of Tuesday afternoon.
No matter who Republicans elect as their candidate for treasurer, the race likely will be the only statewide contest in which the incumbent isn't running. The current state treasurer, Dan Rutherford, is one of four announced Republican candidates for governor.
Although candidates were not required to file quarterly reports four years ago, Frerichs' fundraising compares favorably with Rutherford's 2009 figures. The GOP treasurer had $568,113 on Dec. 31, 2009, about $200,000 less than what Frerichs has today.
Rutherford ended up spending about $3.1 million during the 2009-2010 election cycle.
Frerichs — who still hasn't officially announced that he is a candidate for treasurer although he's been endorsed for the office by the state Democratic Party and the AFL-CIO — had another solid quarter of fundraising, collecting about $210,000 during the three-month period ending Sept. 30; Cross raised $162,052.
Frerichs' campaign manager, Zach Koutsky, said that the candidate has received contributions from 758 people in 53 Illinois counties.
Frerichs received $52,270 in individual contributions during the quarter but about three times that much — $156,585 — in so-called "transfers" from political action committees and other candidates' campaign funds.
He got his largest contributions from labor unions, among them: $15,000 from the Illinois Federation of Teachers, $10,000 from AFSCME Council 31, SEIU Illinois Council, the Southern Illinois Laborers League in Marion and the North Central Illinois Laborers' of Peoria, $6,000 from the Cook County Teachers Union, $5,000 from an American Federation of Teachers local in Crest Hill and the Union of Operating Engineers Local 841 in Terre Haute, Ind.
Overall Frerichs got more than $103,000 in labor union contributions during the quarter.
Frerichs also received $10,000 contributions from Senate President John Cullerton of Chicago, and Sen. Heather Steans, also of Chicago.
Only a small fraction of Frerichs' donations came from his state Senate district, which includes parts of Champaign and Vermilion counties: $1,000 from Laborers Local 703 in Urbana; $500 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Champaign and the East Central Illinois Building and Construction Trades, $300 from Bruce Hannon of Champaign and Beniamino Barbieri of Champaign; and $250 from Eva Jehle of Champaign, Richard Noel of Champaign and from Teamsters Local 26 in Champaign.
Republican Cross, who when he was in Champaign last week said that "there's going to be a sharp contrast between Mike and myself," received the bulk of his third quarter campaign funds from business-related groups.
Cross got $15,000 from the Illinois State Medical Society; $10,000 each from Adena Resources in St. Louis, an oil and gas exploration company, and the Altria Group, a tobacco company; $5,500 from Anheuser-Busch; and $5,000 from Meijer, the Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois, MidAmerican Energy Holdings, an Iowa-based gas and electricity company, and James Bruner of Jacksonville, the president of United Contractors Midwest.
None of Cross' $162,052 in itemized contributions came from East Central Illinois.
County Democrats dinner. Expect an evening heavy on speakers as Champaign County Democrats get together Sunday night for their annual fall dinner at the Laborers Hall, 108 E. Anthony Drive, U.
The event begins with a cash bar at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets are $65 at the door.
Among the speakers will be retiring state Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, who will talk about her effort to bring a progressive income tax to Illinois; three local Democrats who are seeking to succeed her — Urbana Alderwoman Carol Ammons, Champaign County Board member Michael Richards and Champaign attorney Sam Rosenberg; the three Democrats for Congress hoping to take over from Republican Rodney Davis: Ann Callis of Edwardsville, and George Gollin and Davis Green, both of Champaign; Frerichs and Eric Thorsland, who is running in the 15th Congressional District, now served by Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville.
Tom Kacich is a News-Gazette editor and columnist. His column appears on Wednesdays and Sundays. He can be reached at 351-5221 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.