Ann Maher Jul. 19, 2016, 2:52pm


While fundraising has yet to begin in earnest this election cycle - big money typically rolls in after Labor Day - state campaign finance reports for the second quarter show modest gains for local and regional candidates.

The campaigns of Fifth District Appellate Court candidates have raised funds from sources primarily outside of the Metro-East:

For the vacancy of Justice Bruce Stewart, who is retiring in December:

Williamson County Circuit Judge Brad Bleyer, running on the Democratic ticket, brought in $12,648 through individual contributions, transfers and loans Bleyer made to his campaign between April 1 and June 30.

This year he has raised $40,943; last year he raised $11,935 for a total of $52,878.

With the exception of $1,000 contributions from the Walton, Telken and Foster firm of Edwardsville and the Mathews law office of St. Louis made in the second quarter, all of the funds Bleyer's campaign has raised have come from southern Illinois lawyers or individuals as well as labor and trade groups.

Bleyer's opponent, Madison County Circuit Judge John Barberis, a Republican, has not yet established a fundraising committee. In his campaign for circuit judge in 2014, Barberis self-funded with approximately $5,000.

He has stated previously that he would likely have to raise funds for his appellate court campaign in order to reach voters in all 37 counties of the Fifth District.

For the vacancy of James Wexstten:

Justice James "Randy" Moore, who was appointed to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Stephen Spomer, is running on the Republican ticket. He raised $14,987 in the second quarter through contributions from individuals in southern Illinois and the Metro East and firms in St. Louis. He also loaned his campaign $1,237.

This year, he has raised $18,262; last year he raised $15,700, for a total of $33,962.

His opponent, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Jo Beth Weber, a Democrat, raised $19,877 in the second quarter.

With the exception of $2,000 contribution from the Driscoll firm in St. Louis and a $1,000 contribution from the Walton, Telken and Foster firm of Edwardsville, all of the funds given to Weber's campaign have come from southern Illinois individuals and labor or trade groups. Loans totaling $6,624 also were made to Weber's campaign in the second quarter.

Through June 30, the Weber campaign had raised $24,545; last year she raised $44,616 for a total of $69,161 so far.

By contrast, one of the most hard-fought appellate court contests ever, which pit Democrat Judy Cates against Republican Stephen McGlynn in 2012, cost more than three quarters of a million dollars.

Cates, who won the election, outraised McGlynn by a margin of approximately three to one. In total for that year, she raised $587,201 to McGlynn's $199,974.

However, both candidates at mid year in 2012 had raised amounts more in line with what 2016 candidates have so far raised - Cates had raised $105,455 to McGlynn's $23,962.

Twentieth Judicial Circuit

The campaign committees of three Democratic circuit judges making controversial bids for election - John Baricevic, Robert LeChien and Robert Haida - did not accept any individual contributions in the second quarter.

However, the Edwardsville asbestos firm Gori Julian contributed $2,000 to LeChien on July 12. Contributions exceeding $1,000 are required to be reported to the state board of elections within days of their receipt.

The sitting judges have each loaned funds to their committees - Baricevic, $20,000; Haida, $10,000 and LeChien, $2,400.

Belleville attorney Ronald Duebbert, a Republican who will face Baricevic in the November election, loaned his committee $7,500 in April.

East St. Louis attorney Laninya Cason, a Republican who will face LeChien in November, has not established a campaign finance committee.

Baricevic, Haida and LeChien announced their resignations last year, effective this December, and declared they would run in the Democrat primary in March, as if they were first time candidates.

Their candidacies have been challenged at the State Board of Elections and in court. Parties to the challenge await a decision from the Fourth District Appellate Court which heard oral arguments in June. Rulings have so far gone in favor of the judges.

Third Judicial Circuit

Madison County Circuit judges William Mudge and Andreas Matoesian, who are running for retention, did not raise any funds in the second quarter.

In fact, Matoesian, who is the longest-serving judge in the state of Illinois, has not formed a campaign finance committee.

Mudge's committee was active in the fourth quarter of 2015, having accepted $38,925 in individual contributions and transfers. Most of his itemized contributions came from attorneys or firms in Madison and St. Clair counties.

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