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Giannoulias reports campaign war chest nearly three times the size of other three secretary of state hopefuls combined

Alexi Giannoulias reported raising $859,312.64 for the quarter that ended June 30, giving him $2,915,761.69 cash on hand. Rival Anna Valencia reported pulling in $226,273 during the second quarter and had $593,981.36 on hand.

Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), left, in May; Former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, center, last month; City Clerk Anna Valencia, right, in 2018.
Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), left, in May; Former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, center, last month; City Clerk Anna Valencia, right, in 2018.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia; Rich Hein/Sun-Times file

Less than a year out from the Democratic primary, former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias reported having roughly $3 million in the bank for his bid to succeed outgoing Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White — five times as much as City Clerk Anna Valencia, whose own fund raising puts her second in the battle for campaign contributions.

Giannoulias reported raising $859,312.64 during the quarter that ended June 30, giving him $2,915,761.69 cash on hand, according to a campaign finance report filed Thursday, hours before the deadline.

Since the end of June, the former U.S. Senate candidate reported raising another $91,900 — giving him a little over $3 million in his campaign coffers in what’s expected to be a hotly contested race.

“Our end-of-the-quarter fundraising total shows that we have a broad-based coalition of support and a campaign that continues to grow momentum and gain enthusiasm from across the entire State,” Giannoulias said in a statement.

“We’ve been meeting with voters, rolling out progressive policy initiatives and earning support from people who want solutions-driven leadership that brings people together, restores trust in government and delivers results for hard-working families.”

Democratic secretary of state candidate Alexi Giannoulias speaks to striking Cook County workers last month.
Democratic secretary of state candidate Alexi Giannoulias speaks to striking Cook County workers last month.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

Valencia reported pulling in $226,273 during the second quarter and had $593,981.36 on hand as of June 30.

Valencia’s campaign is “confident in where we’re at and the momentum that will build toward November 2022,” a spokeswoman said.

“Enthusiasm is building for Anna around the state and we feel confident about the support and direction of this campaign,” the spokeswoman said. “We’re a year away from a vitally important election to determine who has the experience, integrity and proven dedication to public service needed to build upon Secretary White’s important legacy.”

Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia
Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia on the first day of the filing period for 2019 municipal elections.
James Foster/For the Sun-Times file

The clerk recently went to California for meetings and a fundraiser hosted by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Valencia serves on the Accelerator for America National Advisory Council that Garcetti started in 2018. Attendees at the L.A. fundraiser “spoke to the importance of building a bench especially considering there are only 5 statewide Latinas in the country,” Valencia’s spokeswoman said.

Valencia plans to return to Los Angeles for another fundraiser in the fall.

Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) was in third place among the candidates seeking to succeed White, reporting $416,381.07 in the bank, while Ald. David Moore (17th) ended the second quarter of the year with $64,219.82 on hand.

Ald. David Moore (17th), left, in June of 2020; Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), center, in 2019; City Clerk Anna M. Valencia, right, in 2018. 
Ald. David Moore (17th), left, in June of 2020; Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), center, in 2019; City Clerk Anna M. Valencia, right, in 2018.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia; Rich Hein/Sun-Times file

In a statement released earlier this week, Dowell said she’s “honored that these community and business leaders have committed to help our campaign.

“While I just joined this race only a short time ago, I am humbled by the support and generosity of so many,” Dowell said. “I look forward to more events around the state including the suburbs, southland and the city.”

A spokeswoman for Moore did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

No Republicans have officially entered the race, though state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, has said he is considering doing so.

Most Illinois residents likely know the secretary of state because their name is featured on their driver’s license and vehicle registration, but for politicians the role is one of the most coveted elected offices in Illinois — full of easy publicity, thousands of jobs and the potential to serve as a stepping stone to the governor’s mansion or another, higher office.

In fund-raising in the race for governor, Gov. J.B. Pritzker dominated his GOP rivals.

Republican candidate for governor Gary Rabine, left; State Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, center; Gov. J.B. Pritzker, right.
Republican candidate for governor Gary Rabine, left; State Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, center; Gov. J.B. Pritzker, right.
Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times file; Facebook

The Chicago billionaire, who has not yet officially announced his reelection bid, reported pulling in just $2,725.09 in the quarter in refunds from vendors. But Pritzker had more than $32 million in his war chest at the end of last month, thanks to a personal contribution he made in March. With a fortune estimated at $3.5 billion, the Democrat can replenish his political fund whenever he feels like it just by taking out his checkbook.

An heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune, Pritzker pumped $171 million from his deep pockets into his 2018 bid to oust then Gov. Bruce Rauner, making it one of the most expensive gubernatorial races in American history.

Among Pritzker’s current Republican rivals, suburban businessman Gary Rabine raised the most, pulling in $344,921.74 during the quarter, twice the $165,455.92 that GOP rival Darren Bailey raised. But Bailey, a state senator from Xenia in southern Illinois, had $490,700.75 left in his fund on June 30, while his Bull Valley rival had $287,325.29.

Former state Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, in early January.
Former state Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, in early January.
From Facebook

The third GOP challenger, former state Sen. Paul Schimpf of Waterloo, raised just $83,235.00 during the quarter and had $116,280.47 left in the bank at the end of last month.