Democrat committee pours last minute $250K into Senate candidate Belt’s race

By Record News | Nov 4, 2018


CHAMPAIGN – Illinois Democratic Heartland, a committee the party created to elect Downstate legislators, gave 57th Senate District candidate Christopher Belt $250,000 on Thursday, Nov. 1. 

Belt’s campaign hadn’t spent that much in its first 11 months.

For the year, he has raised nearly $650,000 for the seat being vacated by Sen. James Clayborne, a Democrat from Belleville, who has held it since 1994.

Belt, of Cahokia, faces Republican Tanya Hildebrand, of Belleville, in Tuesday’s election.

Hildebrand has not established a campaign finance committee – only candidates who spend more than $5,000 are required to register with the Illinois State Board of Elections. 

Belt is a former law enforcement officer and former St. Clair County probation officer. Hildebrand is a retired Air Force officer and works as an analyst for the federal government. 

He formed a finance committee last year with Curtis McCall Sr., Centreville Township supervisor, as chairman and attorney Thomas Ysursa of the Becker Hoerner firm in Belleville as treasurer. 

Belt’s campaign reports have come from Lexie Feltman of Champaign, treasurer of the Heartland committee. 

Heartland separately spent $123,970 on Belt’s mailing and postage, through “in kind” payments to Paladin Political Group of Chicago from Oct. 16 to Nov. 1. 

Heartland paid $3,434.46 to Adam White of Belleville and $2,314.88 to Robert Johnson of Springfield for working on Belt’s campaign in the same period.  

He received his first big boost from Heartland, which gave him $5,000 on Jan. 12. 

Heartland added $10,000 on Feb. 23, and the campaign committee of Heartland chairman Sen. Scott Bennett gave Belt $5,000. 

Heartland gave him $6,000 in May. 

In June, the laborers union in Springfield gave Belt $10,000 and the pipe trades in Springfield gave him $5,000. 

In August, Newsweb Corporation of Chicago gave him $11,100, and Newsweb owner Fred Eychaner gave him $5,600. 

In September, state employees provided $20,000 through Council 31 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. 

Also in September, local lawyers rallied to Belt’s aid. 

Tom Keefe’s firm gave him $11,100, and Keefe gave him $4,600. 

Thomas Rich gave him $2,500. 

Brad Badgley and Joseph Bartholomew each gave him $1,000. 

So did John Driscoll’s firm in St. Louis and the Belleville firms of Becker Hoerner, Bonifield and Rosenstengel, and Weilmuenster and Keck. 

Illinois Trial Lawyers in Springfield gave him $2,500.  

In October, along with the big boost from Heartland, Belt received $26,000 from the pipe trades in Springfield. 

Electrical workers in Washington and the Health Care Council of Illinois each gave him $25,000. 

Clayborne’s campaign committee gave him $5,000. 

From the inception of Belt’s committee through Sept. 30, he spent $126,839.93 on: 

-$24,000 to Snyder Pickerill Media Group of Chicago. 

-$13,772.37 Snow Printing of Belleville. 

- $9,720 to Sikorski Signs of Belleville. 

- $6,076.25 to Christopher Mikals of Belleville for a website. 

He paid almost $50,000 to campaign workers: 

- Taylor of Maryville $12,000. 

- James Haywood of Cahokia $7,500. 

- Samuel Morgan of Shiloh $5,000. 

- Stephen Sampson of Centreville $3,753.60. 

- Zoe Williams of Shiloh $3,125. 

- $2,500 each to Stormi Henderson of East St. Louis and Rosalynd Johnson of Centreville. 

- Bethany Dahm of Fairmont City $2,083.33. 

-$2,000 each to Linda Landrum of East St. Louis, Tiffany Pearce of Fairview Heights, and DeMario Wheeden of Cahokia. 

- Carmen Cannon of East St. Louis $1,367.40. 

- Markus Jackson of East St. Louis $1,135.77. 

- Elizabeth Sampson of Shiloh $961.70. 

- Steven Roberts of Belleville $738.30.

- Sabrina Walker of East St. Louis $420. 

- Bryant Diggs of O’Fallon $395.55. 

- Val Hych of Belleville $237.03. 

- Kimberly Clerk of St. Louis $187.50. 

- Marques Golladay of Cahokia $172.50. 

Belt also reported $44,191.12 of contributions in kind through Sept. 30, mostly from Heartland.

From July through September, Heartland paid $17,095.98 to Robert Johnson and $15,461.44 to Adam White. 

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Organizations in this Story

Afscme Illinois Council 31 PAC Becker, Paulson Hoerner & Thompson Illinois Democratic Heartland Committee Illinois State Board of Elections Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.

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