Yingling holds big fundraising lead in House 62 race
He was an underdog two years ago when he upset the incumbent, but Democratic state Rep. Sam Yingling of Grayslake has a lot of help this time around in trying to hold the 62nd District seat.
Yingling is well ahead of his Republican opponent, Rod Drobinski, in reported fundraising, although the challenger has received a substantial late boost from party sources.
For the third quarter ending Oct. 1, Yingling took in about $238,000 in individual and in-kind contributions compared to about $36,116 for Drobinski, an assistant state's attorney and gang prosecutor from Wauconda. After expenses, Yingling reported having about $49,178 available as of Sept. 30, compared to about $26,800 for Drobinski.
Both have raised substantial amounts since Oct. 1, although Yingling again far outpaced his opponent by bringing in about $179,000 as of Wednesday, compared with about $110,000 for Drobinski.
Much of Yingling's support has come in cash or services for such things as salaries, printing, postage and other campaign-related expenses. Several union contributions have included $15,000 from the Illinois Federal of Teachers.
He acknowledged he has secured more party backing in this campaign, but noted a broad base of support. He said has been "incredibly focused" on the campaign and is not taking the challenge lightly.
Drobinski has received more modest party support but most of his contributions since Oct. 1 have been from those sources, including $30,000 each from the campaign committee of House Republican leader Jim Durkin and the House Republican Organization. Both donations were received Tuesday, according to state filings.
"It's a challenge (but) I'm expecting this race to be really close," Drobinski said. "It's hard to go against all that money."
Both candidates have been knocking on doors in the central Lake County district that includes all or parts of Grayslake, Hainesville, the Round Lake communities, Lake Villa, Gurnee, Wildwood and Gages Lake. And while it has not been as contentious a race as some, there has been an edginess between the candidates on issues such as the minimum wage and school funding. Both support a rollback of the state income tax to the original 3 percent level.
Yingling says Drobinski's mailings have included "total inaccuracies" and misstatements about his record on spending and taxes. Literature describing Yingling as a career politician but with someone else pictured, and another that lists an inaccurate phone number, were "ineptly assembled" and represented "total incompetency," Yingling said.
Drobinski said a proposed change in school funding known as Senate Bill 16 is "severely flawed" and would hurt local school districts. Yingling said he does not support the legislation in its current form and never claimed it was a "good approach" as Drobinski has charged.
Yingling supports a boost in the minimum wage except for workers 18 years old or younger, while Drobinski said doing that would kill jobs.
Yingling in 2012 and again in this campaign has advocated cutting government waste.
"I've always been and continue to be a proponent for government consolidation," he said.
Drobinski said he has made many tough calls during his 12 years as a prosecutor and would be more independent in Springfield.
"I just try to do the right thing," he said.