Deep pockets of Metro-East trial bar not yet showing prominence in Fifth District Appellate races

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Sep 13, 2016

Funding for campaigns of Fifth District Appellate Court candidates has been modest to date, with the deep pockets of Metro-East's trial bar so far on the sidelines.

Records at the Illinois State Board of Elections show that Williamson County Circuit Judge Brad Bleyer, who is running on the Democratic ticket for the vacancy of Justice Bruce Stewart, has had the most committee action for campaign contributions in excess of $1,000 so far this quarter with $24,060 coming from 19 different contributors.

The Goldenberg, Heller & Antognoli firm is the only local firm to contribute to Bleyer’s campaign.

All but four of those donating money are from Illinois.

Bleyer has received the following contributions so far:

- Bleyer, William & Dorothy: $1,000

- Operator Action Fund: $1,000

- Mack’s Lake of Egypt Marina LLC: $1,000

- Cook, Gregory & Nancy: $1,000

- Bank of Carbondale: $1,000

- Lawler & Lawler: $1,000

- Bleyer, Mark and Kay: $1,000

- IBEW PAC Voluntary Fund in Washington, D.C.: $1,000

- Bleyer and Bleyer: $1,000

- Hughes Law Firm: $1,000

- Tapella & Eberspacher LLC: $1,000

- Mark and Kathleen Johnson of Cape Girardeau, Mo.: $1,500

- Matthew Ferrell of Cape Girardeau: 1,000

- John and Orleta Schneider of Cape Girardeau: 1,500

- Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli PC: $1,060

- Murphy & Murphy LLC: $1,000

- Lawler & Brown Law Firm: $1,000

- Operator Action Fund: $1,000

- Clinton County Democratic Central Committee: $5,000

Third quarter campaign reports, which will show complete details on all contributions and expenditures, will be made public by Oct. 15.

Madison County Circuit Judge John Barberis, who is running on the Republican ticket for Stewart’s seat, has only raised $1,000 for the entire campaign. The contribution was made on July 28 by Steve Carter, the manager of the coal mining company Knight Hawk with an address of Longboat Key, Fl.

A statement of organization of Barberis’ committee was filed on July 26.

Barberis self-funded his campaign for circuit judge in 2014 with approximately $5,000.

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

Justice James “Randy” Moore, who is running on the Republican ticket for the vacancy of James Wexstten, has only seen one contribution so far this quarter. The donation was made by Deborah McClallen of Carbondale. She contributed $5,400.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Jo Beth Weber, who is running on the Democratic ticket for Wexstten’s seat, has received nine contributions in excess of $1,000 so far this quarter, totaling $15,020.

Gori Julian & Associates is the only local firm to contribute to Weber’s campaign.

Weber has received the following contributions so far:

- SW IL Laborers’ Political League: $1,250

- Elect Travis Allen for Sheriff: $1,000

- Gori Julian & Associates: $1,250

- Onder, Shelton O’Leary & Peterson LLC: $2,500

- Southern Illinois Political Victory Fund: $1,020

- Clinton County Democratic Central Committee: $5,000

- Ullico Management Company/The Union Labor Life Insurance Company: $1,000

- Hughes Law Firm of Carbondale: $1,000

- Stephen Stone of Carterville: $1,000

In previous contested appellate court races, campaign spending has been prolific.

In the 2012 race between Democrat Judy Cates and Republican Stephen McGlynn, spending exceeded $1 million. Cates won. McGlynn was later elected circuit judge in the 20th Judicial Circuit in 2014.

In the 2006 race between Democrat Stewart and McGlynn spending exceeded $2.6 million.

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