In less than one week, state Rep. Jay Hoffman raked in $82,000 in campaign contributions, more than half of which have come from union organizations.

Hoffman, the Democratic incumbent from Collinsville, surged past his Republican opponent, Dwight Kay of Glen Carbon, in total campaign contributions.

Since July 1, Hoffman has taken in more than $463,000. Meanwhile, Kay has raised $304,000 during the same time period.

Hoffman, who over the years has not had to fight very hard to keep the seat he won in 1990, has been spending big on counter-attack television ads.

Kay's advertising has linked Hoffman to very unpopular Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

According to financial disclosure statements filed with the state Board of Elections, Hoffman has raised $222,000 since Oct. 5.

Aside from organizations such as the Teamsters and the AFL-CIO, and building contractors, Hoffman has received sizable contributions from personal injury firms.

Clifford Law Offices in Chicago gave Hoffman $10,000. In the Metro-East, SimmonsCooper gave $10,000 to Hoffman and its co-founder Jeff Cooper also individually gave Hoffman $10,000.

Kay, whose campaign has been blasting Hoffman and Blagojevich in an advertising theme "Thick as Thieves," has received just under $20,000 since Oct. 24, the main source of which has come from the House Republican Organization.

Kay has accused Hoffman of unethical fundraising because he has received over time approximately $440,000 in campaign donations from contractors who do more than $50,000 in annual business with the state.

He calls it a "major conflict of interest" because Hoffman chairs the House Transportation Committee and many of his contributors are major IDOT and state tollway contractors, Kay says.

Kay, who is vice president of Cassens Transport Inc. in Edwardsville, has been attacked by Hoffman for fostering unsafe workplaces.

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