Incumbent State Rep. Tim Schmitz has built a strong fundraising lead over his Democratic challenger in the 49th District, but political newcomer Jennifer Barconi still managed to post respectable numbers during the first half of 2010, according to state campaign records.
The candidates are seeking the 49th District seat representing all or parts of Algonquin, West Dundee, Elgin, South Elgin, the Tri-Cities, Huntley and Crystal Lake.
From January through June, Schmitz raised $24,890, spent $28,263 and ended the period with $19,461, according to campaign finance reports filed this month.
Barconi raised $12,675, spent $7,858 and ended with $6,312.
Those numbers are somewhat misleading, though, in that they don't include another $24,000 Schmitz's campaign raised just since the close of the reporting period, according to the six-term state representative.
"We're pleased with where we're at," said Schmitz, a Republican from Batavia. "We're right on track."
During the first half of the year, Schmitz and Barconi were pretty evenly matched when it came to contributions from individuals. But unlike Barconi, Schmitz's campaign got a comparable amount from other political committees, a fact he attributed to his 10 years in Springfield.
"You work with organizations throughout the years and you have a voting record," Schmitz said. "I have a pro-business background."
Barconi's campaign manager, Richard Zielinksi, said he's pleasantly surprised at Barconi's fundraising success, given the state of the economy and Schmitz's name recognition.
"We're facing a fairly longtime incumbent," Zielinski said. "I think (fundraising efforts are) progressing well. It's a tough economy, but they're progressing as we'd hoped."
Barconi's campaign manager said he expects several political committees and organizations to back Barconi with endorsements and donations in coming weeks, but he was not ready to name them.
Schmitz is a part-time firefighter in Batavia who supports tax credits and grants for businesses, as well as structural reform of state government.
Barconi, of South Elgin, is a sales director, business owner and Air Force veteran who has stressed the need for job growth, education funding and support for veterans.