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Article updated: 3/22/2013 6:41 PM

Amrich's slate reporting big donations in Island Lake

By Russell Lissau

In the hotly contested race for political control of Island Lake, mayoral candidate Charles Amrich's slate has received significantly more financial help than the team led by incumbent Debbie Herrmann, state records show.

Amrich's For the People slate has reported receiving more than $15,000 in campaign contributions this year, according to state board of elections records.

Herrmann's United for Progress slate hasn't yet reported any campaign donations.

The reports are public and viewable online at elections.state.il.us.

Municipal candidates who raise or spend at least $3,000 must file quarterly financial disclosure reports with the state board of elections. They must also file individual reports for donations of $1,000 or more.

Donations of less than $150 do not need to be itemized on the reports.

Elected mayor in 2009, Herrmann is seeking a second term. Her slate includes incumbent Village Clerk Connie Mascillino and trustee candidates Ed McGinty, Ken Nitz and Josh Rohde.

Amrich was Island Lake's mayor from 1985 to 2005. The For the People slate includes clerk candidate Teresa Ponio and trustee hopefuls Mark Beeson, Keith Johns and Tony Sciarrone.

Neither slate has filed quarterly reports yet. The first reports of the year, covering donations and spending from Jan. 1 through March 31, are due in April.

The For the People slate has submitted three reports that show donations of $1,000 or more.

This month alone, the candidates received:

A $2,500 donation of legal services from the firm of Zukowski, Rogers, Flood and McArdle. Attorney David McArdle has represented Amrich in his much-reported effort to stay on the ballot.

A $1,000 donation from the Chicago Title Land Trust Co., covering rent of the group's headquarters.

A $1,060 donation of food for a fundraiser from local residents Greg and Debra Jenkins.

In February, the For the People slate received $1,000 from Chicago Title for the headquarters, $5,000 from the Jenkinses and $6,000 from McArdle's law firm, records show.

Much of the money the For the People slate has received has gone to paying a second attorney, John Fogarty, who helped get Amrich back in the race after his candidacy was challenged by two local residents, the ex-mayor said. Amrich estimated Fogarty's tab is around $10,000.

"We're fortunate to have enough support from certain individuals and of course the community," Amrich said.

The only document on file from the United for Progress slate is a statement of organization submitted in early March.

Herrmann couldn't be reached for comment.

Candidates in many of Lake County's other municipal races haven't reported campaign donations yet, either, Daily Herald research showed.

Whereas national political races can cost millions of dollars, local races in this area rarely extend into the five-figure range.

Local candidates don't buy costly TV or radio advertising, have paid staffs or use national polling firms. Instead, they primarily rely on face-to-face campaigning, the Internet, yard signs and mailers.

Election Day is April 9. Early voting begins Monday, March 25.

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