Tom Kacich: Urbana’s Harold raising sizable amounts in home county


There’s a distinct Champaign County flavor to Erika Harold’s first campaign disclosure report as a Republican candidate for attorney general.

The Urbana native reported raising $100,156 during the July-September period. Most of that — $88,155 — was itemized.

And of that sum, more than 40 percent came from Champaign County, including $5,000 from Leslie Liautaud, $5,600 from Jon Stewart of Austin, Texas, formerly of Champaign; $2,500 from Attorney’s Title Guaranty Fund in Champaign; $2,000 from Champaign attorney Dave Sholem; and a host of $1,000, $400 and $250 contributions.

Since the end of the third-quarter fundraising period on Sept. 20, Harold has added more than $20,000, including $9,000 from Champaign-Urbana — $2,500 from both Steve Hillard of Mahomet and Sondra Libman of Champaign, $1,000 from Patti Dukeman of Urbana, and $1,000 from each of her parents, Donna Tanner-Harold and Bob Harold.

One name missing from Harold’s donors so far: Gov. Bruce Rauner. But the Illinois Republican Party, which has been essentially bankrolled by Rauner in recent years ($35.5 million since Jan. 1, 2014), has given Harold more than $40,000 in in-kind contributions.

Fundraising for the other statewide candidates from Champaign County — state Treasurer Mike Frerichs and Patricia Avery, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor — hasn’t been the same.

Frerichs raised $66,800 during the quarter, but he already has about $324,000 in his campaign fund. And there’s no urgency to raise more because he has neither a Democratic nor Republican challenger for re-election. His only local donor in the quarter was Champaign resident Bruce Hannon, who gave $300.

At the other end of the spectrum are Avery and her gubernatorial running mate, Tio Hardiman, who reported just $5,445 in campaign contributions during the quarter. And $5,000 of that was from Hardiman.

He said in August that he hoped to raise $500,000 for the Hardiman/Avery ticket.

Also worth noting: Another near-statewide candidate was Ray Tranchant of Catlin, who originally was on the ballot with Republican gubernatorial hopeful William Kelly of Chicago. Tranchant was kicked off the ticket earlier this month and it’s probably just as well.

Kelly hasn’t raised enough money to warrant creating a campaign fund.

Gill endorsement

Dr. David Gill, one of four Democratic candidates in Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, is one of 29 U.S. House candidates to be endorsed by the Charlotte, N.C.-based Justice Democrats. The group’s platform includes a single-payer health care system, enacting a public financing system for elections, abolishing the death penalty, re-regulating Wall Street and legalizing, taxing and regulating drugs.

Marron-Cunningham

In what may be the most competitive state legislative race in East Central Illinois next year, Republican Mike Marron has a big early fundraising lead over Democrat Cindy Cunningham in the 104th House District. That’s the district represented now by state Rep. Chad Hays, R-Catlin, who is retiring.

Marron, of rural Fithian, reported $34,550 in contributions and $28,821 on hand on Sept. 30, including $250 each from former Rep. Bill Black and Sen. Judy Myers, both of Danville.

Cunningham, of Royal, reported $575 in contributions during the period and about $888 on hand.

Hulten fund

Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten, who shut down his county clerk campaign fund last year, has reconstituted it to reflect his race to become the first county executive in Champaign County.

Hulten reported $4,924 in the fund.

The only other announced candidate for county executive, Democrat Darlene Kloeppel, has not yet created a campaign committee.

The county’s first executive will be chosen in November 2018.

Hays contribution

Hays said he didn’t receive $11,000 in campaign contributions this summer from the Illinois Education Association’s political action fund.

The Republican lawmaker from Catlin said that the IEA gave his campaign $1,000 but that it voided a $10,000 check it also had cut for him but never sent. The $10,000 check was reported, however, on the IEA’s latest campaign disclosure report, which I wrote about last Sunday.

The IEA still hasn’t amended the disclosure report, perhaps waiting to see if there are other mistakes as well.

Tom Kacich is a News-Gazette reporter and columnist. His column appears on Wednesdays and Sundays. He can be reached at 351-5221 or at kacich@news-gazette.com.

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