Duckworth raises big money; Kirk has more in the bank

Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates led Illinois Senate candidates in fundraising for the third quarter of the year, according to numbers provided by the top campaigns.

The second-term congresswoman raised $1.46 million in the third quarter, leaving her campaign with $2.8 million on hand.

Her top Democratic opponent, former Chicago Urban League CEO Andrea Zopp, raised about $425,000 in the quarter, finishing with about $826,000 in the bank, her campaign said.

And incumbent Republican Mark Kirk raised $1.05 million in the quarter, with a leading $3.62 million in the bank.

Oswego Republican James Marter said this week he's collecting petitions to run against Kirk and that his campaign is in the early stages.

Candidates have to release their full fundraising details by midnight Thursday, and the expensive Senate campaign has seen some barbs traded in recent weeks over fundraising.

Duckworth announced an upcoming fundraiser headlined by retired late-night comedian David Letterman, which prompted the Kirk campaign to suggest Duckworth needed to be "more serious" about her job. Kirk has a fundraiser this month with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"Tammy's vision for a stronger Illinois that works for middle-class families and small businesses rather than the wealthy and well-connected is clearly resonating, and our campaign has real momentum," Tammy for Illinois campaign manager Kaitlin Fahey said Thursday.

But Kirk's camp sought to emphasize the first-term Highland Park Republican still has more money in the bank going into a big 2016 race.

"Senator Kirk maintains a large financial advantage over both of his Democrat opponents while his donor base continues to expand and grow," Kirk campaign manager Kevin Artl said.

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Tammy Duckworth
Andrea Zopp
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