Posted Online: Oct. 29, 2013, 7:46 pm

Democrats hold fundraising advantage in state races

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By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com

Republican candidates hoping to take seats in the Illinois House and Senate in 2014 are starting their campaigns at a huge financial disadvantage to incumbent Democrats.

State Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline; state Rep. Pat Verschoore, D-Milan; and state Rep. Mike Smiddy, D-Hillsdale, all have far larger campaign bank balances than their prospective Republican challengers.

Sen. Jacobs had $128,000 in cash on hand at the end of the third quarter, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections. His sole Republican opponent, Neil Anderson, has yet to file a fundraising report.

Rep. Verschoore had $217,000 in the bank at the end of the quarter. So far, he's unopposed for the 2014 election.

Rep. Smiddy had almost $87,000 in cash at the close of the third quarter. Republicans Jim Wozniak and Jeff McKinley are seeking their party's nomination to run against Rep. Smiddy. Mr. Wozniak had $955 and Mr. McKinley $826 in campaign funds at the end of the quarter.

All of the Republican candidates will hope for an infusion of cash next year from party and other sources as election campaigns kick into gear.

In the meantime, their Democratic opponents are continuing to amass funds to fight the election.

Sen. Jacobs raised $110,000 in the third quarter, and Rep. Smiddy raised $100,000, according to recently filed reports at the state board of elections. Rep. Verschoore raised just $3,900 in the quarter but has plenty of money leftover from previous quarters.

Rep. Smiddy is continuing to raise large checks from unions, including $10,000 from the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Illinois Council No. 31 in the third quarter.

Rep. Smiddy also loaned $10,786 to himself from campaign funds in the last quarter.

Big donors to Sen. Jacobs in the third quarter include the John Deere political action committee with $5,000 and the Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois, also with $5,000.

Expenditures made by Sen. Jacobs' campaign during the third quarter included $9,141 at Bass Street Chop House, Moline; $674 on "candidate lodging" at the Grand Geneva Resort, Lake Geneva, Wis., and $221 at the Capital Grill in Denver, Colo.









Campaign cash on hand


Sen. Mike Jacobs: $128,977
Rep. Pat Verschoore: $217,690
Rep. Mike Smiddy: $86,944
Jim Wozniak: $955
Jeff McKinley: $826
Neil Anderson: $0
Source: Third quarter campaign finance reports filed at the Illinois State board of elections