The Illinois GOP has never been a fundraising juggernaut, and yet the first quarter numbers were still pretty bleak.
For the first quarter, Illinois GOP reported receiving a little more than $115,000 in donations, leaving $74,374 in the bank after expenses, according to the State Board of Elections.
Usually, the ILGOP does much better with its federal fundraising, but they only raised about $100k in January and February and had about $230K on hand.
House Minority Leader Jim Durkin raised $125,000 in the first quarter and had about $267,00 on hand after expenses. His House Republican Organization, which funds GOP reps’ campaigns, raised $111,000, leaving a mere $200 in the bank after expenses. And Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie raised $68,000 and has $432,000 cash on hand. His caucus committee raised $206,000 and has $209,000 in the bank.
As I told subscribers on Friday, HRO reported raising $219K since the end of the quarter. Their new House Republican Majority committee reported $48,500 in contributions this month.
The Democratic Party of Illinois, meanwhile, received about $2 million, leaving it with $2.6 million cash on hand. And Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker reports having $35 million in the bank, thanks to his self-funding.
DPI reported raising just $2,500 since Robin Kelly was elected party chair. That $2 million was a transfer from Democratic Majority before Chairman Madigan left office. He then moved half of that back to the caucus committee.
* Center for Illinois Politics…
Democrats currently have five active party-wide committees. Each of these committees may broadly distribute funds to other Democratic committees across the state, helping pool and direct party funds to various strategic races. Put together, the five Democratic committees had a total of $5,411,409 in available funds as of March 31st, and raised $3,139,147 from January 1st to March 31st. By contrast, Republicans have four active party-wide committees. As of March 31st, all of them totaled $434,280 in available funds, having raised $432,559.68 from during the same time period - a startling advantage for Democrats, giving them a major financial edge of more than 12 times the current funds of Republicans.
Much the same holds true for the committees of each party’s leadership: Senate President Don Harmon’s individual committee had $5,988,860 in available funds as of March 31st, with newly-elected Speaker Chris Welch holding $1,223,835 (Note: Madigan had over $10 million in his individual campaign account). By contrast, Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie only had $432,323, with House Minority Leader Jim Durkin holding $266,564. Outside of the General Assembly, Governor Pritzker’s committee currently has $35,084,460 in available funds ($35,000,000 of which was donated by Pritzker himself on March 12th), while Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton’s committee holds $33,663. Once again, Democrats take the lead - and it bears mentioning that funds in these individual committees can also be transferred to other candidates. These well-funded individual committees may also serve as party-wide assets.
Democrats are clearly poised to have a strong financial advantage next year - a lot more money is going to start trickling into political committees as the year goes by, but the Democratic Party has a formidable head start. However, it remains to be seen how much difference it will ultimately make: Democrats poured millions into political committees supporting last year’s progressive tax ballot initiative, yet it still failed to pass when a single Republican donor (Ken Griffin) stepped up and matched the pot. As always, it will ultimately come down to individual Illinoisans, and for whom they choose to cast their vote.
Note: Additional leadership funds were collected by both parties via A -1 filings: Republicans received $133,750 and Democrats received $288,000.