A recent shindig at a former Tea Party congressman's home has given Lake County treasurer candidate Jeri Atleson's campaign a big financial push, state records show.
Atleson, a Fremont Township trustee, is running against veteran Lake County Board member David Stolman for the GOP nomination in the county treasurer's race.
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On Sunday, Atleson was the beneficiary of a fundraiser at the Mundelein-area home of former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh. The event was promoted on Atleson's campaign website and on social media.
Within days, Atleson's campaign committee received six contributions of at least $1,000, according to documents filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections. That's the level that requires prompt inclusion on a special financial disclosure report.
The largest donation was a $5,300 check from conservative activist and Barrington resident Jack Roeser, founder of the Family Taxpayers Foundation, records show.
In an interview with the Daily Herald, Atleson described herself as a conservative who shares the Republican principles of lower taxes and smaller government.
When asked if she considered herself a Tea Party candidate, she rejected the label.
"I don't consider myself anything," Atleson said. "I want to garner as much support across the party as I can. That's what this party needs."
When asked about Atleson's support, Stolman said "it speaks for itself."
"I think every individual should look to see where (a candidate's) money is generated from," said Stolman, of Buffalo Grove.
Stolman touted his own campaign network, saying he's got "well-rounded, well-balanced support" from throughout Lake County.
Local- or state-level candidates who raise or spend at least $3,000 must file quarterly financial disclosure reports with the Illinois elections board. They must also file individual reports for donations of $1,000 or more soon after they've been received.
Donations of less than $150 do not need to be itemized.
The documents are public and viewable online at elections.state.il.us.
According to their most recent financial reports, Stolman started 2014 with a significant fundraising lead over Atleson.
Between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, Stolman -- a county commissioner since 1992 who served two years as board chairman -- reported $19,400 in campaign donations, most of which were large enough to be itemized. Notable supporters included:
• State Rep. JoAnn Osmond of Antioch, who gave $250.
• Former Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood of Lake Forest, who gave $500.
• Lake County Board member Mike Rummel's campaign fund, which gave $200.
• The Holland & Knight law firm, which represents the Lake County Forest Preserve District and gave $500.
Stolman ended the year with more than $49,888 in campaign funds.
Since then, he reported three donations of $1,000. All were received this week, records show.
Stolman, an attorney by trade, described his political stance as moderate but stressed he's been fiscally conservative during his years on the county board.
"I appeal to everybody," he said.
Atleson, a certified public accountant, had a relatively paltry $4,180 saved for the campaign as 2014 began, her records show.
She reported $3,090 in contributions between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31. Only four of those donations, totaling $2,150, were itemized.
But big checks rolled in for Atleson this week following the fundraiser at Walsh's house.
In addition to Roeser's donation, Atleson reported receiving $5,000 from lawyer and former DeKalb County Board member Michael Danforth and a $3,300 check from a Lake Zurich company called Leenie Productions.
She reported three other donations totaling $3,000.
Atleson, who was elected to the township board last year after three years on the Fremont Public Library board, expressed gratitude for the support. She said her backers are coming "from all over the Republican Party."
Atleson said she isn't worried about the fundraising lead Stolman had at the start of the year. She said she's raising money and has more campaign gatherings planned.
"That is not a concern in the slightest bit," Atleson said.
As for Walsh, Atleson said she appreciates the former lawmaker's efforts on her behalf.
"I like and respect the former congressman," Atleson said. "We share common beliefs."
The winner of the March 18 GOP primary will face Democrat Cynthia Plouche of Highland Park in November's general election. Plouche is running unopposed in her party's primary.
Incumbent Treasurer Robert Skidmore, a Republican, isn't seeking re-election.