More money flows into Fifth District race as election approaches
Bethany Krajelis Oct. 10, 2012, 11:00am
Candidates in the race for the Fifth District Appellate Court have received more money in the past month than during the most recent three-month reporting period.
Records from the Illinois State Board of Elections show that Swansea attorney Judy Cates, a Democrat, has reported nearly $98,000 in individual contributions since the beginning of September, compared to the $67,875 that her campaign committee received between April 1 and June 30.
Cates' Republican opponent, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Stephen McGlynn, has raised $33,000 since Sept. 1, records show. His campaign committee reported receiving $6,625 in donations during the last three-month reporting period.
Candidates seeking election in November face a Monday deadline to submit their next quarterly report, which must detail committee activity, including contributions and expenditures, for the three month period that began July 1 and ended Sept. 30.
As the election draws closer, it appears that both candidates are seeing their fair share of campaign money come in.
Cates, however, has led McGlynn in donations since the two started campaigning for retiring Justice James Donovan's seat on the downstate appellate court.
Records show that almost half of the contributions Cates' committee has received over the past month came from the Simmons law firm of Alton.
The firm on Sept. 10 donated $10,000 and nine of its asbestos attorneys contributed a combined total of $35,000.
Cates reported receiving another $10,000 donation a week later from Maune, Raichle, Hartley, French & Mudd in St. Louis, which describes itself as "the largest firm exclusively devoted to helping mesothelioma victims and their families."
Records show the Driscoll Firm in St. Louis, which does plaintiffs' work, contributed $6,000 to Cates' campaign on Sept. 21, the same day the Texas law firm of Baron & Budd donated $5,000.
Baron & Budd, which handles asbestos matters, serves as class counsel for the plaintiffs in the atrazine class action lawsuit along with the St. Louis law firm of Korein Tillery.
This month, Cates' committee reported receiving $5,000 from both the Southwestern Illinois Political League and Steven Katz, an attorney at Korein Tillery, and Cates' brother.
Records also show Cates' committee this month received $1,000 contributions from the Illinois Laborers' Legislative Committee; Plumbers & Pipefitters , Local 149 COPE, and Belleville attorney Greg Shevlin, president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA).
Cates, who served as the ITLA president from 2006-2007, has received several donations from past ITLA presidents and current members throughout her campaign.
Although McGlynn continues to trail Cates when it comes to campaign contributions, records show McGlynn's campaign committee has gained some steam since September.
Three of the six donations McGlynn's campaign committee reported receiving since September were for $10,000 each.
The Illinois State Medical Society contributed $10,000 to McGlynn's campaign late last month and JUSTPAC, the political action committee (PAC) of the Illinois Civil Justice League (ICJL), gave McGlynn two $10,000 donations, one late last month and the other just last week.
The group's PAC, which was heavily involved in the unsuccessful campaign against Justice Thomas Kilbride's 2010 retention race, also gave McGlynn $5,000 in late August.
Ed Murnane, president of the ICJL and JUSTPAC's chairman, previously told The Record his group supported McGlynn when he ran for the Fifth District Appellate Court in 2006 and expected it would do the same this year.
Besides the three $10,000 donations, records show that McGlynn's committee received three $1,000 donations since the beginning of September.
These contributions came from Swansea attorney Stephen Szewczyk, Kathleen Cook, president of the Village Bank of St. Libory, and Foresight Energy Services in St. Louis.
Both McGlynn and Cates have experience running for the Fifth District Appellate Court.
McGlynn, who served a short stint on the appellate court when voters chose not to retain Gordon Maag in 2004, lost his 2006 race to Bruce Stewart.
Like McGlynn, Cates was unsuccessful in her bid for the appellate court. She lost her race for the appeals panel in the 2008 primary election to James Wexstten.
Neither candidate nor Murnane immediately returned phone messages seeking comment on the race.
According to McGlynn's campaign website, he has received endorsements from Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, Republican Congressman John Shimkus, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Family PAC, Illinois Citizens for Life PAC, Illinois Federation for Right-to-Life PAC and the Illinois State Rifle Association.
Cates' campaign website states that she has support from the following groups: Illinois AFL-CIO, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Illinois State Association of the Nation Association of Letter Carriers, the Southwestern Illinois Central Labor Council and the Democratic Central Committees of Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties.