Candidates didn’t raise or spend nearly as much money in the Decatur mayoral and city council races this year as in some previous years — and a lot of the money raised came from outside of Decatur.
Friends of Julie Moore Wolfe received two $1,000 donations from the Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce’s political arm, CI-PAC, on April 5 (posted after the April 2nd election) and from Fuyao Glass Illinois Inc. in Decatur. CI-PAC seemed late in its endorsements this year. I received the news release naming their endorsements too late for our final edition before the election, so for all of the readers of our newspaper, it made no difference in the election. I would encourage the CI-PAC to make endorsements a little earlier in the next campaign so those being endorsed can get the most out of them. Other major contributors to Moore Wolfe’s successful campaign were: Plumbers & Steamfitters Local No. 137 in Springfield – $2,500.00, Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters in Chicago – $1,000.00, Southern Central IL Laborers’ Political League in Marion – $2,500.00, Houlihan Campaign Fund in Springfield, $1,000.00 and ADM in Decatur, $1,000.00. Friends of Julie Moore Wolfe’s D-2 Quarterly Report with the State Board of Elections shows: Funds available at the beginning of the reporting period: $8,634.86. Total Receipts: $19,040.00. Total Expenditures: $20,133.29. Funds available at the close of the reporting period: $7,541.57. When she ran for the 2-year term for mayor in 2017, her D-2 for the same quarter showed funds available at the beginning of the reporting period of $292.74 and total receipts for the quarter of $41,054.00 so about half as much in contributions during the last quarter was raised this year.
• David Horn, one of two challengers seeking the mayor’s position was not able to raise as much money as Moore Wolfe. Horn’s committee, Horn for Decatur, had funds available at the beginning of the reporting period on Jan. 1 of $676.10. During the first quarter of this year, Horn had total receipts of $11,090.00 and funds available at the close of the reporting period on March 31, of $169.24. David Horn contributed almost $10,000.00 of his own money which made up the lion’s share of the total receipts.
• Jacob Jenkins, the third candidate for mayor, did not file a D-2 report because his committee had not reached the threshhold of finances where it had to report to the State Board of Elections.
• Rodney Walker, who led all city council candidates to win a seat in the April 2 election had a beginning balance on his D-2 form of $322.00 to begin the first quarter of the year, but he raised over $9,000 during the quarter. Some of his major contributors were Brian Burcham with $1,000 and Weslee Bowling, $1000.
• Lisa Gregory, running for re-election, won the 2nd of three city council seats, received a $1,000 contribution from IUOE Local 965 Pac Fund in Springfield and $500 from the Southern Central IL Laborers’ Political League in Marion among several other donations. Gregory for City Council’s D-2 quarterly report shows the following summary: Funds available at the beginning of the reporting period: $0.00, Total Receipts: $5,464.00, Total Expenditures: $4,120.60 and Funds available at the close of the reporting period: $1,343.40.
• The other incumbent, Bill Faber, won the third and final seat up for election in the April 2nd election. Faber had funds available at the beginning of the reporting period (Jan. 1) of $743.63, but picked up nearly $8.000 from contributors during the quarter. His total expenditures during the quarter were $2,209.85 and he still had $5,790.48 in funds available at the close of the period — only two days before the election.
• Shelith Hansboro, who finished fourth in the council race had funds available at the beginning of the reporting period of $4,000 and total contributions by the end of the period of $3,325, giving her a total of $7,325 to spend on the campaign. She had funds available at the close of the reporting period of $6,365.37, according to the D-2.
• Marty Watkins, who finished fifth in the field of seven had funds available to start the last quarter of $200.00, but raised $14,132.10 and spent $13,516.55 of it on the campaign — the most of any council candidate—leaving him with funds available at the close of the reporting period of $815.55. The amount he raised during the first quarter of this year was impressive.
• John Phillips, Jr. apparently didn’t meet the threshold of financial backing or expenses to where he had to report to the State Board of Elections, because I couldn’t find any entries. He told me during a conversation with him at the St. Patrick’s Day parade that he didn’t have much money for advertising. Although low on funds he did take advantage of the public forums that were available during the campaign.
• Shavon Francis, who finished last in the balloting filed her D-2 for the quarter on April 11 and showed total contributions of $2,400 for the period. After expenses she had $222.00 left in her account. Among her donations were $500 from her employer, ADM, and $300 from the Macon County Democratic Party.