Dems boast millions in campaign funds — but Rauner still has more

Gov. Bruce Rauner signs a book for Janis Straesser, left, Carol Hornickle, and Bernadette Shekleton, right, during a stop at Brewers Distributing Company on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, in Peoria, Ill. File Photo. (Ryan Michlaesko/Journal Star via AP)

Gov. Bruce Rauner started the month with more than $50.3 million in his campaign war chest — more than 17 times as much as his five major Democratic challengers combined.

Rauner and state Sen. Daniel Biss are the two gubernatorial candidates reporting more than a million dollars of campaign cash on hand, according to the first major campaign report filed Monday with the state’s Board of Elections.

Businessman Chris Kennedy fell just shy of that mark, with $907,427.61 on hand when the reporting period closed at the end of March.

And billionaire venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker beefed up his total with $7 million out of his own pocket after the filing period closed.

It’s all a sign of just how expensive the primary race — a long 11 months away — may become.

For Pritzker and Rauner, the vast majority of their campaign cash comes from their own pockets, signaling the increasingly important role self-financed campaigns are playing in Illinois politics.

JB Pritzker speaks with the media after announcing his run for Illinois governor Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Chicago. File Photo. (Max Herman /Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Candidates are required to post their quarterly report to the Illinois State Board of Elections— reporting contributions from Jan. 1 to March 31 – by midnight Monday.

While not officially talking about his re-election bid, Rauner took in $44,630.01 in contributions, with $565,484.95 in expenditures. He reported $39,775 in total debts and obligations. Still, Rauner had $50,392,630.57 million in his war chest at the close of the period.

In December, Rauner contributed $50 million to his campaign fund, which his campaign dubbed a first installment.

Among Rauner’s top expenditures was $338,092.12 to Project Applecart LLC, a New York company that offers “strategic political consultancy” while developing technology built to give tools and insights “for motivating political action.” The company says it builds “scalable, scientific and data-driven solutions,” according to the company’s website.

Other expenditures included $27,278.75 for Arena Online, a Salt Lake City digital marketing firm specializing in political campaigns.

Kennedy — the son of Robert F. Kennedy — reported $1,026,097.21 in contributions, with $7,085.45 in in-kind contributions and $118,669.60 in expenditures. Kennedy had $907,427.61 on hand at the end of March, according to the filing.

Chicago businessman and Democratic candidate for Illinois Governor Chris Kennedy poses for a portrait in his office in Chicago in February. (AP File Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Chris Kennedy’s campaign on April 6 reported that he had raised more than $1 million in contributions to his gubernatorial campaign from 3,000 individual donors. Part of that total included $250,100 which he contributed to his own campaign and lifted the caps in the race.

Pritzker, who announced his run for governor on April 6, reported $200,000 in contributions and $34.95 in in-kind contributions. His expenditures totaled $58,630.41 and he had $141,369.59 on hand by the end of March.

That number is of course boosted by the $7 million he contributed to his campaign on Friday.

Ald. Ameya Pawar reported $294,351.60 in contributions and $31,802.70 in in-kind contributions. His expenditures were reported as $48,148.55. He had $246,203.05 on hand by the end of the reporting period.

Pawar’s campaign on April 4 reported more than $325,000 of donations had come from 1,200 people from across the state. Pawar announced his run in January.

State Sen. Daniel Biss and Ald. Ameya Pawar. | File photos

The Northwest Side alderman said the numbers show “the power of everyday people rising up to demand accountability from our government.”

State Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, reported $314,331.01 in contributions and $225.46 in in-kind contributions. Biss reported $76,478.04 in total expenditures and had $1,592,081.07 on hand. On April 4, Biss’ campaign reported $313,861 in contributions.

Biss says nearly 90 percent of his donations were for less than $150, and they came from over 1,000 contributors from 116 cities and towns across Illinois.

Madison County schools supt. Bob Daiber reported $49,410 in contributions, $11,879.83 in expenditures and $20,000 in debts and obligations. He had $37,530.17 on hand at the end of the reporting period.

Monday’s state Board of Elections deadline applied to politicians at the state, county, municipal and local levels.

Gubernatorial candidate Bob Daiber speaks before the Cook County Democratic Party. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Mayor Rahm Emanuel reported $530,350 in contributions and $270,926.15 in expenditures. He had $1.27 million on hand.

Longtime Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar, who defeated Jackie Traynere by just 105 votes earlier this month, reported $230,485.77 in contributions; $235,046.78 in expenditures and $39,535.95 on hand by the end of March.

In the contentious mayoral race — which saw Pritzker and Biss coming out in support of Traynere — Traynere reported $116,298.39 in contributions, $761.94 in in-kind contributions; $113,754.84 in expenditures and $5,257. 85 on hand.

Previously from Chicago News