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2018 Election

The big money in the 13th

Staff Contributor

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The end of the primary season is almost upon us. The fundraising totals for the March 20th primary are coming in. While the races for governor and attorney general have attracted a lot of the attention regarding campaign financing; for example JB Pritzker alone is spending $171,000 per day, according to Bloomberg. Other races around the state have drawn in a lot of money as well.  The Democratic primary in the 13th Congressional District is no exception.

According to data provided by the Betsy Dirksen Londrigan Campaign, the Democrats have collectively raised more than $1.3 million for their primary contest. In the press release provided by the campaign, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan leads the pack with $544,000; while Erik Jones comes in second with just over $441,000. In the report provided to us, Dirksen Londrigan out-raised the next closest candidate by nearly $100,000 so far in 2018. (View full press release here)

Although campaign fundraising does not directly translate into votes, financial support outside of a candidate’s own personal wealth is a good metric of a campaign’s effectiveness. Campaigns need money to operate, buy advertising, pay their staff, and many other things. But while money helps spread a campaign message, money by itself is not a message. So ultimately, campaign success falls back on the candidate and the message.

To learn more about all the Democratic candidates in the 13th district, check out Springfield Daily’s in-depth interviews on the Thomas Clatterbuck Show.

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2018 Election

Langfelder remains confident in his Township merger question

Thomas Clatterbuck

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Springfield is on its way to eliminating a unit of government. Capital Township, which is coterminous with the City of Springfield, is moving towards consolidation. Currently, Sangamon County is trying to get the township to merge with the county. But Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder is pushing the effort for the township to be merged into the city.

The County’s effort had strong momentum going for it before the election. Both the township board and the county have approved the merger. To further solidify their mandate, they put a non-binding question on the November 6th ballot. That question asked if the county and township should pursue a full merger. The effort passed with 75 percent support, or 31,800 votes.

Despite the progress the County’s effort is making, Langfelder still thinks the city should take over the township. He remains confident that voters will support his ballot question. But that support will have to come in two parts. Because the Springfield City Council declined to endorse his question, Langfelder will need signatures to get on the April ballot at all, in addition to getting votes on Election Day.

To learn more about the competing proposals, you can compare Langfelder’s case for the a merger with the city, with Don Gray and Tom Cavanagh’s case for merging Capital Township with the county.

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2018 Election

Republicans Davis and LaHood hold onto congressional seats

Thomas Clatterbuck

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Both Congressmen who serve the Springfield area retained their seats last night. Darin LaHood (R-18) and Rodney Davis (R-13) will be going back to Washington DC. LaHood had a decisive victory with 67.5 percent of the vote against Democrat Junius Rodriguez who took 32.5 percent. Davis had a much closer race. He won out over Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan by a margin of just 3,700 votes.

But Illinois Congressional races generally went towards the Democrats. The 6th District went to Sean Casten over Republican incumbent Peter Roskam. Lauren Underwood came out over Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren in the 14th. These races were part of the Democrats retaking of the US House of Representatives. Illinois now has 13 Democratic and 5 Republican Congressional Representatives.

Even in the races they won, Republicans have reasons to be concerned. LaHood received 57,000 fewer votes in his rematch against Rodriguez than he did in 2016. Rodriguez’s total dropped just 3,000 votes. Davis faced a similar situation. Where the Democrats actually gained 5,000 votes in the 13th, Davis’ total declined by 52,000.

While a win is a win, even these high points of last night’s election should be worrying to the Illinois Republican Party.

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2018 Election

Sales tax and township consolidation propositions pass

Thomas Clatterbuck

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In addition to the candidates running for office, there were several questions on the ballot for voters in Sangamon County. One question was if Capital Township should be consolidated with Sangamon County. The other was if there should be a one percent sales tax to help schools pay for facility improvements.

Both questions passed. The township question passed handily with 75 percent of the vote. The sales tax was approved much more narrowly, 53 to 47 percent.

Because it was a non-binding question, the township vote will do nothing by itself. It will, however, strengthen the case for the county and township to consolidate.

The sales tax referendum was a binding question, and will go into effect July of 2019. It is expected to raise about $10 million for District 186, and another $10 million for other districts in Sangamon County.

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