SPRINGFIELD – Spending on downstate races to keep the Illinois State House controlled by Democrats rivals the ferocity playing out on a national level to put the minority party back in control of the U.S. House.
State Rep. Jay Hoffman, holding almost $1 million in his campaign treasury, transferred $243,500 to five Democratic candidates for House seats in the quarter ending Sept. 30.
Hoffman transferred $55,000 to Rep. Jerry Costello II of Smithton, who ended the quarter with more available funds than Hoffman.
He transferred $55,000 to Rep. Natalie Phelps Finnie of Elizabethtown and $45,500 to Rep. Monica Bristow of Alton.
He transferred $35,000 to Lisa Dugan of Bradley, challenger to Republican incumbent Lindsay Parkhurst.
He transferred $53,000 to Mica Carnahan-Freeman of Plainfield, challenger to Republican incumbent Mark Batinick.
Carnahan-Freeman received no other transfers and ended the quarter with less than $7,000 in available funds, but her party sustained her.
She reported “in kind” contributions of $357,704.67 from the party, covering payroll, insurance, and other costs.
For incumbents Costello, Bristow, and Finnie, Hoffman’s transfers swirled into far greater amounts.
Bristow received $742,725 in transfers, Costello received $624,885, and Finnie received $579,050.
Costello ended the quarter with $794,217.45 in available funds, while Hoffman ended it with $692,289.72.
By contrast, Republican challenger to Hoffman, retired Army officer and realtor Doug Jameson of Belleville, had $2,239 available at the end of the quarter. He started it with $12,920, received $5,005 and spent $15,686.
Republican challenger to Costello, attorney David Friess of Red Bud, had $7,159 available at the end of the quarter. He started it with $4,318, received $114,020 - mainly from the House Republican Organization (HRO) - and spent $111,180. The HRO apparently believes in Friess's ability to compete with Costello, having contributed more than $88,000 since the third quarter report was filed.
Hoffman’s third quarter report shows that he received $186,700 in transfers from campaign committees in the quarter and $111,739.78 in contributions from individuals including businesses.
Illinois Education Association provided his biggest transfer, $55,000.
Laborers transferred $10,000, and so did pipefitters.
The American Federation of Teachers transferred $7,000.
Operating engineers transferred $5,500.
Local 31 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, representing most state employees, transferred $5,000.
Beer distributors and trial lawyers each transferred $4,000.
Operating engineers in Chicago transferred $2,000, and operating engineers in Granite City transferred $1,500.
An association of school administrators and the state medical society each transferred $3,000.
Machinists, pipefitters, and realtors each transferred $2,500.
So did J. B. Pritzker, running for governor mostly on his own money.
Firefighters, community banks, an insurance association, and Commonwealth Edison each transferred $2,000.
Among Hoffman’s contributions from individuals including businesses, he drew almost a fourth of his support from the asbestos firm of Simmons Hanly Conroy.
The firm gave him $11,000, and members Michael Angelides, John Barnerd, Perry Browder, and Ted Gianaris each gave him $2,500.
He received $1,000 each from firm members Nicholas Angelides, Randy Cohn, Amy Garrett, Christopher Guinn, and Timothy Thompson, for a total of $26,000.
He received $2,500 from Thomas Rich of Belleville and $2,000 from the firm of Goldenberg Heller in Edwardsville.
He received $1,250 from Brad Badgley of Belleville, and $1,000 each from the firms of Becker Hoerner in Belleville and Gori Julian in Edwardsville.
Outside of lawyers, Hoffman received $5,0000 from Foresight Energy of St. Louis and $3,000 from FBK Management of Chicago.
Ameren power utility supported Hoffman in three ways.
It directly contributed $2,962.63, and it spent $1,537.37 on a Cardinals game with food and refreshments.
Ameren president Richard Mark gave Hoffman $1,000.
A look at the tight race in the 12th Congressional District shows that Republican incumbent Mike Bost through Sept. 30 this year has raised $2.3 million and Democrat Brendan Kelly has raised $2.9 million.
Recent polling by Global Strategy Group showed Bost up by a 1-point margin.