Gov. Bruce Rauner’s campaign committee has donated $3 million to the campaign fund of Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs.
The Friday afternoon disclosure to the Illinois State Board of Elections shows that Citizens for Rauner gave Durkin’s committee the $3 million on Wednesday. Then, on Thursday, Citizens for Durkin gave $520,000 to the Illinois Republican Party. On Friday, Citizens for Durkin gave the Illinois Republican Party another $500,000, according to state campaign finance records.
Citizens for Rauner had previously given the Illinois Republican Party $4.9 million in four contributions all between Aug. 4 and Sept. 29, records show.
Durkin could not be reached for comment Friday evening. He has no Democratic opponent in next month’s general election, though as minority leader, he is involved with trying to elect Republican House candidates across the state.
In late September, Rauner gave his campaign committee $5 million of his own money, records show.
About the same time, Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger received a big donation from billionaires Richard Uihlein and Ken Griffin, who contributed $5 million to her war chest.
Days later, though, $3 million of that was transferred to the Illinois Republican Party.
Uihlein, Griffin and Rauner are the top contributors for Illinois Republicans, funneling their money to super PACs that then send funds to the Illinois Republican Party and key races.
Munger could received the donation because, earlier in September, she had received a $260,000 contribution from her husband, attorney John Munger. That donation lifted the cap on political contributions, all but guaranteeing just how expensive this election will wind up being. The limits come off for all candidates in a race if any one of them, or a family member, contributes more than $250,000 to his or her own race.
Munger was appointed by Rauner after the death of Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka in 2014. She is running against Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza. The victor will serve the remaining two years of Topinka’s four-year term.
Prior to Sept. 30, Mendoza had raised more than $1.3 million, which already put the race on track to be one of the most expensive in the state.
Contributing: Tina Sfondeles