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Blair Outraises Sommer In Latest Campaign Reports

Carleigh Gray
Democrat Jill Blair is running against state Rep. Keith Sommer, R-Morton, in November.

UPDATED 12:50 p.m. | The Democrat looking to unseat state Rep. Keith Sommer is closing the fundraising gap as both candidates head into the thick of campaign season.

Jill Blair of Bloomington raised $5,410 in April, May, and June, according to a new quarterly campaign filing with the Illinois State Board of Elections. That’s three times what Sommer raised ($1,800). Blair hosted several fundraisers last quarter, according to her Facebook page.

Keith Sommer
Credit Jeff Smudde / WGLT
State Rep. Keith Sommer at a recent McLean County Chamber of Commerce legislative update event.

Sommer, a Republican from Morton, still has a larger campaign war chest—typical for an incumbent. He had $31,330 in cash on hand as of June 30; Blair had $13,783. Sommer’s contributors included Comcast and the Caterpillar employees political action committee (PAC). Blair’s included former Democratic Party chair John Penn.

Blair is Sommer’s first general election opponent in a decade. His 88th House District includes portions of south Bloomington, McLean, Danvers, and Stanford, stretching west all the way past Morton.

Brady vs. Webb

State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, maintains a substantial fundraising advantage over his Democratic challenger, Ben Webb.

Brady raised $6,750 in recent months from Comcast, Nicor, and the State Universities Annuitants Association PAC, among other contributors. Brady also recently received money from Facebook. He now has $137,166 in cash on hand.

Webb, a teacher from Normal, raised $1,450 last quarter and now has $1,208 in cash on hand.

Brady represents the 105th House District, which includes parts of Bloomington-Normal.

Michael vs. Richards

Democrat Nikita Richards of Bloomington continues to build up her campaign fund as she challenges incumbent McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael in November.

Richards, who works for the City of Bloomington, raised $4,317 last quarter, leaving her with $5,729 for the next stretch of the campaign. She announced her candidacy in June 2017.

"Fundraising has been going well and consistent, with much of our donor contributions being $25 or less," Richards told GLT, noting another fundraiser coming up July 28 with the Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general. "This is a good sign—a campaign that is truly powered by the people. Grassroots and hard work!"

Michael, a Republican from Bloomington, raised $950 last quarter, leaving her with $1,915 in cash on hand. Michael formally reactivated her campaign committee June 6. Michael said she's yet to host any fundraisers.

GOP vs. Democrats

The McLean County Republican Party has more money in the bank than local Democrats.

The McLean County GOP has $32,278 in cash on hand, more than twice as much as the Democrats ($13,150), according to campaign filings. The Republican central committee also raised more last quarter—$6,462 to $1,763—than the Democratic central committee.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.