Financial reports for Madison County circuit judge candidates show that the contenders are neck-in-neck in the all-important dash for cash.
Attorney David Hylla, Democratic, reported raising $58,998 in the first half of 2006. In the same period, Judge Don Weber reported raising $54,508 in campaign contributions.
Hylla and Weber are squaring off for the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Phillip Kardis in November 2005.
Weber was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill the renainder of Kardis' term.
Hylla's largest individual contributor was from the Edwardsville law firm Goldenberg Heller Antognoli Rowland Short & Gori, at $3,000.
Edwardsville personal injury attorney John Hopkins also gave a $3,000 personal contribution, plus a $400 contribution from his law firm, Hopkins & Associates.
Texas-based Brent Coon and Associates, a firm that delivered 172 asbestos and silicosis lawsuits to Madison County last year, donated $1,050 to Hylla.
Other lawyers donating to Hylla included, Brad Badgley, Lance Callis, Nathaniel Mudd, Robert Ramsey (local counsel for Brent Coon and Associates), John Papa and Thomas Keefe.
Hylla also personally loaned his campaign $6,000.
Hylla also reported spending $72,479.99 in the past six months.
He paid $16,500 for political consulting and telephone polling to Cooper and Secrest of Alexandria, Va.
Donna Gefter of Gaithersburg, Md., was paid $10,610.01 for opposition research and consulting.
Hylla has also spent $5,000 for media productions.
At the end of the reporting period, Hylla reported having $16,055.65 on hand. He started the year with $29,537.64 in his coffers.
Weber spent $22,508.42 and had $37,228.39 on hand at the end of June.
Weber's largest individual contributor was East Alton attorney Ed Unsell with a contribution of $2,800.
Kirkwood, Mo. attorney Christopher Hunter contributed the second largest amount at $2,100.
Other contributors were Ben Allen of the Lakin Law Firm, Robert Carter, David Dugan, Jacquelyn Kidder, S. Russell Meyer and Marshall Smith.
Weber also received contributions from several businesses including Alton Securities Group, D.L. Austin Steel Supply Corporation, Danmar Enterprises Inc, Deer Pointe Finance, Josephine's Limited, McCormicks Pizza Inc., Morrissey Construction Company and Open MRI of Southern Illinois LLC.
Weber and his wife, Judith, loaned the campaign $7,000.
JustPAC donated $4275.09 for in-kind donations for printing and mail.
Weber's largest expenditure was to his campaign coordinator Emily Terry of Edwardsville for $6,531.
For campaign literature and yard signs, Weber's campaign paid $5,989.23 to John Pastuovic Communications of Elmhurst, Ill., his second largest expense.