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Londrigan, Jones Even On Fundraising As Democratic Primary Nears

Erik Jones and Betsy Dirksen Londrigan
Erik Jones and Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, two of five Democrats running in the 13th Congressional District.

Betsy Dirksen Londrigan outraised her Democratic rivals last quarter in the 13th Congressional District primary, leaving her and Erik Jones with nearly identical campaign war chests for the final stretch.

Londrigan, a fundraiser from Springfield, raised $160,448 during the last three months of 2017, according to federal election disclosures made Wednesday. Her campaign spent $51,519 during that time, giving her $237,740 in cash on hand as of Dec. 31. The primary election is March 20.

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Londrigan's campaign said her family's roots in the 13th District, her message, and her fundraising ability make her the best candidate to take on U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis in November.

"Notably, of Betsy’s (fourth-quarter 2017) contributions, 67 percent are $100 or less and an impressive 74 percent of her contributions come from within Illinois," Londrigan's campaign said in a statement.

Jones, a former Illinois assistant attorney general from Edwardsville, raised $131,994 last quarter and spent $88,762, leaving him with $237,845 in cash on hand—slightly more than Londrigan.

"Erik Jones continues to establish himself as the strongest candidate in the Democratic field," said campaign spokesperson Natalie Bauer Luce. "He is the overall leader in fundraising and has consistently led in fundraising since he entered the race, despite going up against a professional fundraiser. Momentum continues to be on his side. He was just endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, who will support him with a contribution. The endorsement opens up additional likely contributors. As a first-time candidate, Erik's ability to raise money shows that his message and campaign are resonating with people all across the district."

Jonathan Ebel, a University of Illinois professor from Urbana, raised $109,862 last quarter, spent $49,531, and had a campaign fund with $134,354 in cash on hand as of Dec. 31.

Ebel told GLT he was happy with his results as a first-time candidate with a full-time job. But he said that "being right and being rich are two very different things."

"I'm the guy who went to Harvard on an ROTC scholarship, so I'm used to not being the richest person in the room. I know how to succeed without the deepest pockets," Ebel said. 

Lagging the pack again was David Gill, a Bloomington physician, who spent more than he raised last quarter. Gill raised $21,194 and spent $24,388, leaving him with just $3,403 in cash on hand. Gill has run for—and come up short—in the 13th District or its pre-redistricting predecessor five different times.

Fundraising totals were not available Wednesday for Angel Sides, a late entrant to the race.

The five Democrats are vying for a chance to challenge Davis, R-Taylorville, in November. Davis’ sprawling 13th Congressional District includes parts or all of 14 counties, stretching from the western half of Bloomington-Normal all the way south to Edwardsville. While the district includes many Republican-leaning areas, it also includes Democratic pockets like college campuses.

Whoever wins the Democratic primary will face a seasoned fundraiser in Davis. He raised $274,430 during the last three months of 2017 and spent $183,762, leaving him with $1.1 million in his campaign war chest.

Meanwhile, both Londrigan and Jones released new TV ads this week focusing on health care.

Londrigan TV ad:


Jones TV ad:


All five Democrats are expected to appear at GLT’s Candidate Forum at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Normal Theater. The event is free and open to the public.

WGLT depends on financial support from users to bring you stories and interviews like this one. As someone who values experienced, knowledgeable, and award-winning journalists covering meaningful stories in central Illinois, please consider making a contribution.

Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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