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updated: 1/18/2012 10:52 AM

When it comes to fundraising, Dist. 15 candidates starting slow

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  • Carol Calabresa

    Carol Calabresa

  • Dan Donahue

    Dan Donahue


The candidates running to represent the Lake County Board's 15th District are getting off to a slow start when it comes to campaign fundraising, newly released records show.

Incumbent Republican Carol Calabresa reported raising a mere $3 during the last quarter, while most of the $2,700 GOP primary challenger Don Donahue reported receiving came from himself.

The third candidate for the seat, Democrat Del Parra, hasn't reported any campaign donations or spending and has not registered a campaign committee with the state elections board.

Illinois law requires candidates for local, county or state office to file paperwork with the elections board detailing campaign donations and expenditures once they've raised or spent $3,000.

After that, a report must be filed any time a candidate collects $1,000 from a single donor in one year.

Disclosure reports are available for public review at

The newest reports cover donations received between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, as well as spending from that quarter.

Calabresa, a Libertyville resident who has been on the county board since 1986, reported receiving $3 in contributions during the quarter. Her disclosure form did not identify the donor or donors.

She did not report receiving any loans or other contributions during the period and spent no money on her campaign, the document shows.

Calabresa said her fundraising and campaigning efforts were minimal last quarter because of an illness and other factors.

Calabresa ended the quarter with nearly $382 in her campaign coffers.

She expects to raise money through a letter campaign in the weeks ahead. Such an effort will be particularly important, Calabresa said, because Donahue's political supporters include Republican activist Jack Martin, who has been known to assist candidates he favors with mailings and automated "robocalls."

"I think it's going to be a lot more expensive (than usual)," Calabresa said.

Donahue, a Libertyville man who is making his first bid for elected office in Lake County, reported receiving $1,200 in donations during the quarter. Of that sum, he was responsible for $1,000. The donors of the remaining $200 were not identified.

Donahue, who sits on Libertyville's plan commission and has worked in state Republican politics, also loaned his campaign $1,500, the report shows.

Additionally, Donahue reported receiving $1,500 worth of free labor from supporters. A Chicago vendor printed postcards, a lawyer reviewed and filed his candidate petition and a consultant designed his website, the report indicates.

Donahue also spent an estimated $1,185 on his campaign during the quarter. The bulk of that sum was for postage, reports show.

His campaign ended the period with about $1,515 in the bank.

Donahue said he expects to raise between $8,000 and $10,000 for the primary race. A fundraising gathering is planned for Jan. 31, he said.

After that, he said, "it'll be time to get serious."

The winner of the March 20 Republican primary will face Parra, also of Libertyville, in the November general election.

Parra unsuccessfully challenged Calabresa in 2006 and 2010. He said he hasn't formally created a committee for this campaign because he hasn't hit the $3,000 threshold.

The 15th District includes Libertyville and part of Mundelein.

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