Spending on race to win 10th district Democratic primary tops $1 million

 
 
Updated 3/9/2016 3:32 PM
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  • Nancy Rotering, left, and Brad Schneider are the Democrats running for Congress in Illinois' 10th District.

    Nancy Rotering, left, and Brad Schneider are the Democrats running for Congress in Illinois' 10th District.

  • Republican U.S. Rep. Robert Dold represents Illinois' 10th District.

    Republican U.S. Rep. Robert Dold represents Illinois' 10th District.

The Democrats running for Illinois' 10th Congressional District seat spent more than $1 million between them on media advertising just in the first two months of the year, federal records show.

Former U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider of Deerfield and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering face off in Tuesday's primary, and their spending has heated up as Election Day nears.

According to pre-primary reports filed with the Federal Election Commission last week, Rotering's campaign spent more than $649,000 on media spots, direct mail and other expenses between Jan. 1 and Feb. 24.

Team Schneider dug even deeper, spending more than $912,000 during the same period.

The eventual Democratic Party nominee will face incumbent Republican Robert Dold of Kenilworth in November's general election. Dold is unopposed for the GOP nomination and spent far less than his Democratic challengers during the first two months of the year, reports show.

Candidates running for federal office must regularly file financial disclosure reports that itemize campaign donations, expenditures and debts. They're available for public viewing at fec.gov.

The race for the 10th District post has been one of the nation's costliest congressional races for years, with campaigns raising and spending millions every two years to get their candidate elected. The 2016 race doesn't look like it will be an exception.

Rotering raised about $165,000 in donations during the roughly two-month period covered by the pre-primary reports. So far during the campaign, her organization has raised about $1.1 million.

It's also spent nearly $982,000, the bulk of that coming in January and February.

Much of that money went to Snyder Pickerill Media Group, a Chicago firm handling the campaign's media advertising. It received checks totaling $409,949 in January and February, reports show.

Rotering's campaign also wrote checks during those two months for rent, event catering, office supplies, payroll and cellular phone services, among other purchases.

Schneider received about $326,500 in donations in January and February, according to his pre-primary report. During the campaign, supporters have given Schneider more than $1.7 million.

Schneider's organization has spent more than $1.5 million on the race so far. And like the Rotering campaign, the majority of his spending was in January and February.

A Chicago company called Adelstein and Associates was the campaign's biggest beneficiary. The firm was paid more than $678,000 in January and February for media buys and direct mail pieces.

Schneider also cut checks to various vendors for website design, fundraising consulting, payroll, office supplies, yard signs and other purchases.

Even though Dold is unopposed in the GOP primary, his campaign is still bringing in a lot of cash -- about $304,000 in January and February alone, reports indicate. He remains the best-funded candidate overall, receiving about $2.6 million in donations during the campaign so far.

And without a primary opponent, Dold spent a relatively paltry $167,000 in January and February, none of it going to costly TV ads.

Instead, money went to pay for fundraising consulting, direct marketing, rent, staff salaries and other expenditures.

The 10th District includes parts of Cook and Lake counties. It stretches from Lake Michigan into the North and Northwest suburbs.

Dold won the seat in 2010. Schneider beat Dold in 2012, becoming the first Democrat to represent the 10th District since the late 1970s.

Dold took back the seat in a 2014 rematch against Schneider.

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