Linwood "Lennie" Jarratt and Joe Neal have led in fundraising among four candidates running in the Republican primary for state Senate District 31, state election documents show.
Neal, Jarratt, Lawrence "Larry" Leafblad and Michael White are seeking the seat that Republican Suzi Schmidt of Lake Villa captured two years ago. Domestic troubles prompted Schmidt's decision to not enter the March 20 primary.
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Melinda Bush of Grayslake is unopposed in the Democrat primary. The 31st Senate District covers most of northern and parts of central Lake County.
Illinois State Board of Elections records show Jarratt, of Round Lake Beach, had total campaign receipts of $2,480 over a quarterly reporting period that closed Dec. 31.
Jarratt's overall total was boosted Jan. 12. That's when he submitted a document showing a $5,000 campaign contribution from conservative political activist Jack Roeser of Barrington.
More "conservative, grass-roots people" may be ready to direct cash to Jarratt's campaign, he said, because of other Republican primaries for statewide office that apparently won't be as competitive as the 31st Senate District.
Neal's campaign disclosure documents show he collected $6,030 for the most recent quarter. Some of his supporters are familiar names in Lake County's GOP.
Schmidt's campaign fund provided $150, while Republican state Rep. JoAnn Osmond of Antioch kicked in $750 to the Wadsworth resident.
"I think to get through the primary, I'm shooting for about $30,000 so I can get some mailers out," Neal said Monday. "Ideally, I'd hit $50,000."
Leafblad, of Grayslake, said he will submit documents to the state now that he's exceeded the $3,000 threshold for campaign contributions or expenses. He said his campaign received $2,764, mostly from his pocket.
Direct fundraising letters will be used in an effort to reach a goal of $13,000 to $15,000, Leafblad said.
"It's really tough to ask people to contribute in this kind of economy," he said.
White, a Lindenhurst resident, reported total receipts of $200 from the last quarter. He said he doesn't believe he'll need more than $6,000 or so to win a low-turnout primary.
"Really, the people who support me are around me, neighbors and friends," White said.
Bush, who will face the Republican winner in November, collected $11,480 in the period from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2011, records show. Contributions included $1,000 each from the Lake County Federation of Teachers and Service Employees International Union's political-action committee fund.
All four GOP candidates and Bush are making their first run at state Senate. Bush is a member of the Lake County Board, where Leafblad previously served.
Jarratt is founder of the Lake County Tea Party. Neal, Jarratt and White have never held an elected post.
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 whenever a candidate collects at least $1,000 from a single donor in one year.