Davis has monumental advantage in campaign money

Davis has monumental advantage in campaign money

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, has $1.2 million in his campaign account — about 80 times more than his two general election opponents combined.

Davis, running for a third term in the November election, is swamping Democrat Mark Wicklund of Decatur and independent David Gill of Bloomington in fundraising in the 13th Congressional District race. The congressional district includes Champaign-Urbana as well as Decatur and parts of Springfield, Bloomington and Normal.

Wicklund and Gill have a combined $14,076.33 in their campaign accounts.

Davis' total includes $338,748 raised in the last three months.

Wicklund, the Democratic candidate, has $4,735. He listed only five individual contributions in the last three months, including $500 from Michael Weissman of Urbana and $250 from Robert Pearson of Champaign. Wicklund also listed $2,392 in out-of-pocket expenses as a personal donation to his campaign.

He reported no contributions from political action committees or Democratic Party organizations during the quarter, and has acknowledged only $175 in donations from other Democrats since his campaign was organized 10 months ago.

Gill, a former Democratic congressional candidate who hopes to run as an independent this year, reported $9,341 on hand. His list of contributors included no one from Champaign-Urbana, although there were donors from Decatur, Springfield and Bloomington.

Gill's petitions of candidacy are being challenged at the State Board of Elections by both Wicklund and a Republican Decatur attorney, and it's possible that his name will not appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Among the expenses Gill lists are payments to three men who collected petition signatures for him. Charles Wright of Urbana was paid a $1,049.28 fee for gathering signatures, David McCarver of Normal was paid $706 and Floyd Brown of Decatur received $240.

It is legal under Illinois election law to pay people to collect petition signatures.

Davis, meanwhile, is enjoying the biggest financial advantage of his first three congressional campaign.

At this point two years ago, when his opponent was former Judge Ann Callis of Edwardsville, Davis had $1.33 million in his campaign fund while Callis had $717,204. Davis won that race, 59 percent to 41 percent.

Four years ago when Davis faced Democrat Gill and independent John Hartman, the Republican had $429,184 to $197,001 for Gill at this point in the campaign. Hartman didn't file a campaign disclosure report until September that year. Davis ended up winning that race with 46.5 percent of the vote, defeating Gill by 1,002 votes.

Of the $388,748 that Davis raised in the last three months, $92,484 was from individuals while $294,964 was from political action committees. He also got $1,300 from Republican Party committees.

Of Davis' individual contributors, $2,700 was from Ken Griffin, a wealthy Chicago hedge fund manager who is a major ally of Gov. Bruce Rauner. Davis also got $500 from the PAC of former U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana.

Among Davis' other second quarter PAC contributors were $5,000 from McDonald's, Caterillar, the Portland Cement Association, the CME Group, the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors, and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association.

Davis got $2,500 from Allstate Insurance, State Farm Insurance, Exelon, the International Franchising Association, AT&T, the American Optometric Association, Buffalo Wild Wings, the International Council of Shopping Centers, the USA Rice Federation, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the National Beer Wholesalers Association, the United Fresh Produce Association, the United Transportation Union, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Community Pharmacist Association, the American Financial Services Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Davis also got a $1,000 contribution from Major League Baseball.

So far in this election cycle, according to the Federal Election Commission, Davis has collected $2.088 million, of which $1.46 million has come from PACs.

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