St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly, the leading Democrat, outraised incumbent Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, in the fourth quarter with more than $315,000, mostly from individuals. Bost raised just over $248,000 in that time, the majority of it from PACs.
The cash-on-hand contest is also competitive. Bost went into 2018 with $686,012 available to him, compared to Kelly’s $520,523.
* Money and other considerations have prompted the Cook Political Report to change the Bost district from “lean Republican” to “toss up”…
IL-12: Mike Bost (R) — Southwest border: East St. Louis, Carbondale
Toss Up. This southern Illinois district gave President Trump a 15 point margin and Bost has been consistently underestimated. But the district also voted for Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth by nine points. More importantly, Democrats may have landed their most prized recruit of the 2018 cycle in St. Clair County prosecutor Brendan Kelly, who outraised Bost this past cycle.
Kelly, a Notre Dame graduate and Navy veteran who served on ships in the Middle East, is the type of moderate Democrat that has done well here in the past. He plays up his work in the county attorney’s office combating the opioid epidemic. Republicans hint there’s plenty to go after in his prosecutorial record, but they’ll have a hard time painting Kelly as a liberal. This is a top-tier Democratic opportunity.
Long way to go, so we’ll see. As the rater mentions, Bost is consistently underestimated. And while Trump and Duckworth did both win that district, Republican Leslie Munger also won it by 5 points.