THE ILLINOIZE: Democratic dominance in fundraising race…Trouble for Dems on the northwest side?…Proft is back

April 19, 2022

Good morning, Illinois.

Governor JB Pritzker signs the state budget bill into law this morning. I have another commitment, so I won’t be there (that, and I’m pretty sure state troopers have a shoot on sight order from the administration), but I hope one of Chicago’s intrepid reporters is able to get a good answer on how delaying a two cent increase in gasoline prices will really help constituents in a pinch.

I ran a few numbers yesterday, let’s say your round trip commute is 50 miles per day (think Clinton to Decatur, Downers Grove to the Loop, or Scott Air Force Base to that ugly Arch thing in St. Louis). If you drive a commute friendly four cylinder car, like a Honda Civic or Ford Focus, you’re getting about 30 miles per gallon on a 12 gallon tank, so you’re filling up twice each week for a total of 24 gallons. At $4.50 per gallon, that’s $108 per week. If the automatic motor fuel tax increase went into effect, that price goes up by 50 cents.

You’re not filling up an IRA on those savings.

By the way, campaign finance reports were due last night at midnight and we’ll have details below. But it’s a good reminder that we’re 70 days from the June 28 primary and 203 days from the November 8 General Election. Since we typically add it here, it’s been 447 days since the Governor’s office last responded to one of our questions. I promise I don’t have cooties.

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Let’s get to it.


You can see all of the numbers here. Let’s break it up a little.


Yes, billionaire Governor JB Pritzker has more money than any other candidate in the race. He dropped $90 million of his own money earlier this year and still has $87 million on hand. But here’s an interesting stat that found. The Pritzker campaign spent $17 million between January 1 and March 31. In the last three months of 2014, leading up to the General Election, then-incumbent Governor Pat Quinn’s campaign spent a total of $13.5 million.

My, how times have changed.

On the Republican side, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, backed by $20 million from billionaire Ken Griffin, spent $9 million on TV ads in the first quarter of the year and has around $11 million cash on hand. Venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan was buoyed by $1 million from tech insurance company CEO Kevin Taweel. He’s been on TV for weeks and still has around $8 million in the bank for the stretch run.

Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) appears to be the frontrunner, if polls we’re hearing about are any indication, just got started on TV. He received $1,000,000 from conservative donor Richard Uihlein and still has around $901,000 in the bank. Businessman Gary Rabine hasn’t gone on TV yet and still has around $850,000 in the bank. Former Sen. Paul Schimpf has just $28,000 on hand.

It’s hard to know at this point if Irvin’s spending advantage is paying off, but they’ve begun attacking both Sullivan and Bailey. And, of course, Griffin can always pony up more cash.

Secretary of State

Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia seemed to put together a little bit of momentum after outgoing Secretary of State Jesse White and Governor JB Pritzker endorsed her in February. Former State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias has continued to raise gobs of money and Valencia has run into some ethical questions surrounding her husband’s lobbying activities.

Heading down the stretch, it looks like Giannoulias’ financial lead continues to grow and will give him the advantage as he goes up on TV. Giannoulias filed with around $4.4 million on hand. Valencia has around $1.1 million. Chicago Alderman David Moore is still in the race and has around $39,000 cash for his hardly-existent campaign.

Republican Rep. Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) and former U.S. Attorney John Milhiser are seeking the GOP nomination. Brady has around $243k on hand. Milhiser has around $275k. Milhiser is part of the Griffin/Irvin slate.

Attorney General

Incumbent Kwame Raoul has put his foot on the fundraising gas in the past six months, filing with around $1.1 million in the bank March 31. Both Republicans lag far behind. Griffin/Irvin candidate Steve Kim has around $70,000 cash. Southern Illinois attorney Tom DeVore, who has filed dozens of lawsuits against Governor JB Pritzker’s pandemic responses, has around $26,000 in the bank.


Incumbent Treasurer Mike Frerichs has around $1.8 million cash in the bank while his November opponent, Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon), has around $450,000. Comptroller Susana Mendoza filed with around $758,000 cash on hand. McHenry County Auditor Shannon Teresi has just $11,000 in the bank. Both Demmer and Teresi have Griffin’s support.

Legislative Leaders

Senate President Don Harmon continues to be a fundraising machine. He has around $12.5 million in the bank and the Senate Democrat caucus account has around $2.5 million in the bank. Republicans, meanwhile, trail significantly behind. GOP Leader Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) has about $1.4 million in the bank, and the caucus has around $352,000 in the bank.

In the House, Speaker Chris Welch has $8.1 million in the bank and the House Democratic caucus has around $4.5 million in the bank. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) has around $1.1 million in the bank. The caucus has around $372,000 on hand.

More on legislative races and why Democrats have such an advantage in tomorrow’s subscriber newsletter.


It appears primary challenges to Sen. Robert Martwick (D-Chicago) and Rep. Lindsey LaPointe (D-Chicago) will move forward.

Martwick’s challenger, Chicago Police Officer Erin Jones, appears as if she will survive a petition challenge.

One of LaPointe’s challengers, Keith Thornton, reportedly dropped out of the race last night, endorsing a third candidate in the race, real estate broker Tina Wallace.

Neither LaPointe or Thornton returned messages from The Illinoize last night.

This may be the only area of the city, on the northwest side with a lot of police and firefighters, that these incumbents can be challenged from the right, especially on their votes for a criminal justice reform bill passed last year.

As the Democratic party moves left, it will be an incredibly interesting exercise in pro-public safety Democratic voters and where they stand against progressive incumbents.


Radio host and former GOP candidate for Governor Dan Proft is back with a new PAC and is up on the air attacking Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin.

Proft, who listed a Naples, FL address on disclosure documents, is the Chairman of the “People Who Play By The Rules PAC,” which has, so far, reported only one contribution. It was $1,000,000 from Richard Uihlein, who is backing Sen. Darren Bailey in the GOP primary.

Proft previously shuttered PAC’s that had been supported by Uihlein that got involved in GOP primaries and some General Election races.

(Disclosure: I worked against candidates backed by Proft’s PAC’s in the 2016 and 2018 primaries and continue to be bitter about blatant lies they got away with in 2016).

Proft has also been tied to a network of fake newspapers pushing conservative ideals.

I suppose that’s one way of saying the Irvin/Bailey fight is going to get even uglier over the next two months.

Here’s the anti-Irvin ad from Proft’s PAC:

That’s it for this morning. Follow us on Facebook or on Twitter for more.

Have a great day.

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April 19, 2022 at 08:40AM

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