CHAMPAIGN -- David Gill, the Democratic candidate in the 13th Congressional District race, said Sunday he raised more than $430,000 in campaign contributions in July, August and September, a sum he said was about twice the previous three months.
Official campaign disclosure reports will be filed with the Federal Election Commission later today.
Gill, who is running against Republican Rodney Davis and independent John Hartman, said three-quarters of the money he raised came from individual contributions, with the average being $61.
But seven separate so-called "super PACs" have entered the race against Gill, spending about $2 million that is separate from the money spent by the Davis campaign. Gill said another $1.5 million to $2 million in television advertising has been reserved for negative ads against him in the last three weeks of the race.
"It's infinite," he said. "Their supply of money is infinite."
Gill spoke Sunday night to the annual fall dinner of the Champaign County Democrats at the I Hotel and Conference Center, giving a review of the race that recent polls say is a dead heat.
"I'm just heartened by the support that I get from the ordinary men and women, the everyday men and women," he said. "Having the support of people like that and the people in this room, that's what has kept me propped up as they've poured this $2 million at me from the oil industry and the banks and the drug companies and the insurance companies."
Bill Houlihan, the director of U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin's downstate office, said that Gill's race likely will be the closest congressional contest in Illinois this year.
He urged local Democrats to support Gill like they backed Barack Obama in 2008.
"President Obama won this county with 48,000 votes, 15,000 more votes than John McCain. It was the second-best downstate county for Barack Obama," he said. "If we do that job again we're going to have a Democratic congressman here for the first time in 20 years named Doctor David Gill."
The last Democratic congressman to represent Champaign-Urbana was Rep. Terry Bruce of Olney in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Houlihan said it has been 16 years since Springfield, which is also in the new 13th District, was represented by a Democratic congressman.
"We have a great opportunity, folks, to send someone to Washington who cares about the everyday person," he said. "He sees it each day that he's working in the emergency room."
He said Democrats had a chance to pick up the seat because a more favorable district was drawn in the state's congressional redistricting process last fall.
"We have an opportunity you only get once in a decade. If we don't win this time it's going to be tough to win next time, so we've got to win this time," said Houlihan, whose boss had supported Matt Goetten against Gill in the primary election in March.