Campaign finance report reveals spending gaps in 22nd Senate race
The incumbent state senator from Elgin has raised nearly twice as much in campaign donations than his opponent, according to state campaign disclosure reports.
The filings, due at midnight Tuesday, show incumbent Democrat Michael Noland raised $107,000 from Jan. 1 through June 30 of this year - $43,000 more than opponent Steve Rauschenberger, an Elgin Republican and former state senator.
Rauschenberger is vying for the 22nd Senate District seat he held for 14 years before vacating it in 2006 to run for lieutenant governor, a bid which he lost.
The legislative race is expected to be one of the hottest this fall.
The majority of Noland's contributions came from political action committees, while Rauschenberger's came from individuals.
"I just got more support, period, throughout," Noland said Wednesday. "I think we've done very well, but I think we need to work harder and do better. We are not looking over our shoulder."
Overall, Noland has so far spent much more on his campaign, a majority on consultant fees and hotel stays when he was down in Springfield.
The majority of the money that Rauschenberger has spent so far - $26,000 of $36,000 - has been on legal fees, fighting to stay on the ballot.
The case centers around a 2009 vote Rauschenberger placed in the local Democratic primary to support a relative running for office. He later filed to run as a Republican in the Feb. 2 primary. An attorney for the Illinois Democratic Party challenged that move, arguing that Rauschenberger's earlier vote should have eliminated him from the Republican ballot.
In Illinois, a person must declare a party if they are voting in a partisan race. Judges on the circuit court and appellate court levels have ruled in his favor. The state Supreme Court could hear arguments on the case in September.
Meanwhile, the Senate Democratic Victory Fund spent about $25,500 on Noland's campaign. The Republican State Senate Committee spent about $13,400 on Rauschenberger's.
At the end of the six-month period, Noland had $47,000 in campaign cash left, compared to Rauschenberger's $71,000.
Rauschenberger said Wednesday he's made a point to squirrel away money, not yet spending on ads or mailings.
"We thought it was important that we had money for the messages as we get closer to the election."