Tom Kacich | With 100 days to election, Deering has ground to make up in 13th District race

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Regan Deering spent about $400,000 winning a four-way race last month among Republicans in Illinois’ 13th Congressional District.

Now comes the hard part.

Deering, a Decatur business owner and the granddaughter of the late Archer Daniels Midland CEO Dwayne Andreas (who was a major donor to Republican presidents Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush as well as Democrats Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Jesse Jackson), will face Springfield Democrat Nikki Budzinski in the November election. Deering has a lot of ground to make up.

Budzinski, according to the latest federal campaign-disclosure reports, has a big edge in cash on hand as of June 30: $1 million to Deering’s $37,598. And she has outraised Deering, $2 million to $287,000.

Further, the Deering campaign is weighed down by debt from the primary. It reported $233,292 owed to a number of legal firms, consultants and media production businesses. That’s on top of a personal loan of $150,000 that Deering gave the campaign in March.

Deering relied mostly on individual contributions in the primary, including $10,300 from Deering family members and $9,725 from Andreas family members. She also received a $2,900 contribution from former Sen. Elizabeth Dole.

Deering’s campaign received a number of $500 contributions from Champaign residents Stuart King, Newt Dodds, Joe Lamb, Tom Harrington Jr., Peggy Monahan and John Kluth.

But Budzinski’s campaign is in far better financial shape with Election Day 100 days away. The 13th District, which includes most of the population of Champaign County, plus all or parts of Macon, Macoupin, Madison, Piatt, Sangamon and St. Clair counties, is considered marginally Democratic.

With more than $1 million in the bank and no campaign debt, Budzinski has a big head start in the sprint to Nov. 8. She has raised about a half-million dollars from political action committees, many of them national labor unions. And she also has built a national fundraising base. According to the website OpenSecrets.org, Budzinski has raised more than $617,000 from Illinois donors, but close to $600,000 from out-of-state donors.

Among her biggest donors in the last quarter: $5,000 each from the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, the Women’s Political Committee Federal, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, the United Steelworkers, the Amalgamated Transit Union, the International Union of Painters, the Iron Workers union, the American Postal Workers Union, the Perimeter PAC affiliated with Sen. Tammy Duckworth, the Elect Democratic Women PAC, and the Onward Together Committee.

Among her individual donors in the last quarter: Gov. J.B. Pritzker, $5,800; University of Illinois Professor Sheldon Katz of Urbana, $500; Illinois State Professor Matthew Hesson-McInnis of Mahomet, $247; Champaign County Circuit Clerk Susan McGrath of Champaign, $208; and Esther Patt of Urbana, $440.

52nd Illinois Senate District

The bad news for state Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign, is that he has an opponent. Maria F. Vasquez of Urbana was appointed by Republicans to run in the district, which includes parts of Champaign and Vermilion counties, in the Nov. 8 election.

The good news is that he has $378,880 in his campaign fund. Vasquez hasn’t formed a committee, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Champaign County circuit judge

The most visible Champaign County election race so far this year is the contest for circuit judge between incumbent Republican Sam Limentato and Democrat Chad Beckett. Both have yard signs — plus larger highway signs — throughout the county.

Limentato’s campaign reported having $71,508 on hand on June 30, much of the receipts coming from $80,384 in personal loans.

He also has reported a number of $1,000-plus contributions, including Goldfine & Bowles of Peoria, $2,500; Allison Mosby-Scott of Bloomington, $4,000; Kevin Applebee of Mahomet, $1,000; Shapemaster Inc. of Ogden, $1,000; and Graham and Elizabeth Berry of Urbana, $1,000.

Limentato’s campaign spent more than $10,000 with Adams Outdoor Advertising and about $4,000 on signs.

Beckett, meanwhile, is running a self-funded campaign. He reported $4.52 on hand with in-kind expenditures for T-shirts and literature totaling $425.

He said he has a large supply of yard signs and literature from a past campaign for judge, so he hasn’t had buy any more yet.

“I have not sought contributions. As I wrote on my website, I think that there are more important things for people to spend their money on than me,” Beckett wrote in an email. “Some supporters have said they intend to do so anyway, but what I’m doing is not dependent on that.

“I didn’t see the point of loaning my campaign some high five-figure sum (not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course) when I will be spending the money anyway. I’ve been through this rodeo once before (and on a bigger scale), so I think I have a good idea as to what it will cost to get the word out.

“I’ll spend what I think needs to be spent as I go, just declare whatever I do pay for as an in-kind contribution and report as I go.”

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August 1, 2022 at 02:02PM

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