- Associated Press - Saturday, October 29, 2016

Several pricey campaigns demonstrate the lengths that Republicans and Democrats are going to strengthen their positions in the Illinois Legislature.

Figures compiled by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform using public financial disclosures show the spending power in the races as of Friday. The amounts will increase as Election Day nears, but totals won’t be known until after Nov. 8. The figures reflect the money candidates have and the amount spent on their behalf by groups that don’t coordinate with candidates.

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Location: House District 111 in southwest Illinois, bordering Missouri.

Cost: $3.2 million.

The candidates: Incumbent Democratic Rep. Daniel Beiser, who won the seat unopposed in 2014, and Republican small business owner Michael Babcock.

The contributions: Beiser has $2.2 million, largely from Democratic Party committees and unions. Babcock has just over $1 million, mostly from Republican Party committees.

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Location: House District 79, encompassing central Illinois’ Kankakee.

Cost: $3.3 million.

The candidates: Incumbent Democratic Rep. Kate Cloonen, who won by only 122 votes in 2014, and Republican Lindsay Parkhurst, an attorney.

The contributors: Cloonen has nearly $1.6 million, mostly from unions and Democratic committees, though she has transferred some of her funds to Democrats in close races. Parkhurst has more than $1.7 million, largely from GOP committees.

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Location: Senate District 49 in northeast Illinois, including Plainfield and Shorewood.

Cost: More than $2.6 million.

The candidates: Incumbent Democratic Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, who won with 53 percent of the vote in 2012, and Republican Michelle Smith, a small business owner who served on a local school board for seven years.

The contributors: Bertino-Tarrant has $1.2 million, while Smith has almost $1.4 million. Bertino-Tarrant’s support comes from teachers’ unions and Democratic committees. Smith is getting most of her support from Republican committees.

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Location: House District 76 in north-central Illinois, which covers LaSalle and Putnam counties.

Cost: $2.5 million.

The candidates: Democratic Rep. Andy Skoog, who was appointed to the seat in 2015, and Republican Jerry Lee Long, the owner of a property management group. (Democratic state Auditor General Frank Mautino won the House seat by 337 votes in 2014, but he vacated the office in late 2015 to become auditor.)

The contributors: Skoog has just over $415,000, while Long almost $2.1 million. Most of Skoog’s support comes from unions, while Long is getting help from Republican committees, including one controlled by Illinois House GOP leader Jim Durkin.

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Location: House District 117 in southern Illinois, covering Franklin and Williamson counties.

Cost: $2.2 million.

The candidates: Incumbent Democratic Rep. John Bradley, who wasn’t challenged in 2014, and Republican Dave Severin, who owns a custom embroidery business.

The contributors: Bradley, backed by labor unions and Democratic committees, has nearly $1.4 million. Severin has about $783,440, mostly from Republican committees.

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(Data source: Illinois Campaign for Political Reform)


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