Early voting starts Monday, and if campaign dollars were votes, Democrats would be absolutely assured of victory in contests to represent Evanston districts in Washington and Springfield.

The closest contest in the fundraising sweepstakes is in the 18th State House district, covering the eastern portion of Evanston, where Republican challenger Julie Cho has raised just over one-third as much money as incumbent Democrat Robyn Gabel.

Next is the 9th State Senate race where Joan McCarthy Lasonde, the Republican seeking to fill the seat being vacated by Daniel Biss, has raised just under one-third the money raised by Laura Fine, who’s seeking to move up from the State House.

In the 17th State House district, Fine’s old district, which includes northwest portions of Evanston, Democrat Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz has faced only token opposition in the general election from Republican Peter Lee, although she had to spend big to win the five-way primary.

And to represent the 9th District in the U.S. House, long-time incumbent Democrat Jan Schakowsky has not faced a meaningful fundraising challenge from the largely self-funded Republican, John D. Elleson.

In the 14th State House district, which includes a sliver of south Evanston, Democrat Kelly M. Cassidy is running unopposed.

(The Democrats’ fundraising lead is not as overwhelming as it has been in some years. Compare the picture this year to how things looked in 2012.)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Cost per actual vote

    I hope that “Evanston Now” will be willing to do the math and publish the results regarding how much each candidate spent per actual vote.

    1. Dollars and votes

      Hi Dan,

      We did a fairly elaborate comparison of various indicators of support, including fundraising, after the mayoral primary last year.

      Full data on spending won’t be available for this election until early in 2019.

      — Bill

    2. 10 to 1 ratio

      We know the Democrats have a nearly 10 to 1 fundraising advantage.  Do they use those dollars to drown out the fact that Evanston and Illinois is drowning in debt? 

      Side note…I’ve heard there is a school of thought to use state $$$ to save Harley Clarke–where those dollars will come from is anyone’s guess.  Is it right to ask the taxpayers in Coal City Illinois to fund the saving of Harley Clarke when the State is functionally bankrupt?

      1. Equity in Evanston or the lack thereof

        Indeed, why should Coal City Illinois or you name any other city or town in Illinois help to fund the saving of Harley Clark? 

        How is that equitable for the taxpayers of those communities?

        It seems like some Evanstonians are willing to use their privilege and clout to gain advantage for Harley Clark. 

        This approach seems to run counter to the value of long time Evanstonians.

        A little hypocritical? 

  2. $1.4 Million

    I wonder what Congresswoman Schakowsky does with $1,400,000 of fundraised money – it’s not like she has to spend $1 on a reelection campaign around here if she doesn’t want to. This has to be one of the safest seats in the country. 

    Does it go to other Dem candidates in other districts who need it more? Can she use it to pay staffers? Always been curious about this. 

    1. Click the link

      Hi Evan,

      Click Schakowsky’s name in the story to go to the Federal Election Commission site, where you can explore its reports on her spending.

      — Bill

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