In the Democratic primary race for the state's new 84th House District seat, Carole Cheney has a fundraising advantage over her two opponents.
According to campaign records filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections, Cheney brought in $32,858 in the last three months of 2011. Her fundraising total leads fellow Democratic candidates Stephanie Kifowit, who collected $12,760, and Alex Arroyo, who received $2,930 in the same time span.
The three are battling for the Democratic nomination in the March 20 primary for the newly drawn 84th District, which includes parts of Aurora, Naperville, Montgomery, Oswego and Boulder Hill.
Supporting Cheney, an Aurora attorney, were the American Federation of Teachers Local 604, which gave $5,000; Laborers International Union of North America Local 149, which chipped in $750; and plenty of West suburban citizens and attorneys.
"I just call people and tell them what I represent, the fact that I really want to focus on long-term policy and doing good," said Cheney, 51, about her fundraising strategy. "A huge thing has been letting people know that I will listen to them; I think people feel forgotten."
The campaign fund of Kifowit, a 40-year-old Aurora alderman and substitute teacher, received a $500 boost from International Association of Firefighters Local 99 in Aurora and another $500 from Laborers' Political Action and Education League, records show.
"We're fundraising to support the campaign office and the resources I need to get out and talk to the voters and win the election," Kifowit said.
Since campaign finance reports for the end of 2011 were submitted, records show Kifowit, Cheney and Arroyo all have added to their accounts.
Kifowit gained some ground on Cheney's fundraising total with two donations totaling $9,340 from Springfield-based Democratic Majority, according to campaign records.
"I'm gathering support from Democratic organizations, from elected officials," Kifowit said. "I'm getting support from all over so we have a well-balanced campaign."
Cheney and Arroyo each brought in an additional $1,000 so far in 2012.
Arroyo's biggest contributors so far are a Dallas-based pilot who gave $1,000 and the Laborers' District Council of Chicago and Vicinity Political Action Committee, which also gave $1,000. Arroyo, 42, is a flight attendant for United Airlines who called his campaign "grass-roots."
"We're used to winning elections here with little or no money," he said. "It's all based on voter contact."
A fourth Democratic candidate, Ken Maurice of Aurora, was removed from the ballot Jan. 24.
The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican Patricia Fee of Aurora in the November general election for the chance to represent the 84th District.