Giannoulias Has Slight Lead Over Kirk in Cash on Hand

Posted October 5, 2009 at 11:05pm

Illinois state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) raised $1.1 million in the third quarter and will report having $2.4 million in cash on hand at the end of September, according to a preliminary tally from the campaign obtained by Roll Call. Giannoulias’ available cash is slightly more the than the likely GOP nominee, Rep. Mark Kirk, had in his Senate campaign account at the end of last month.Both Kirk and Giannoulias are running for President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat. The race is expected to be particularly expensive because of the Chicago media market, and both parties have a significant interest in targeting Obama’s former seat.Giannoulias’ haul is significantly more than his second-quarter fundraising total, when he only brought in about $676,000. But at this point Giannoulias is considered the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, a fact that no doubt boosted his cash. Still, he emphasized in a statement that his third-quarter total does not include any contributions from corporate political action committees or federal lobbyists.—Lobbyists and special interests in Washington have blocked change for too long,— Giannoulias said. “Mark Kirk has taken their money and voted their way and the people of Illinois deserve better.—Kirk announced Monday that he raised $1.6 million in the third quarter, and he will report having $2.3 million in cash on hand at the end of September. Kirk’s haul was also significantly more than the $590,000 he raised in the second quarter — and his third-quarter total was boosted by a reported $500,000 fundraising event with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).Giannoulias has several Democratic opponents, at least one of whom has already donated significant personal funds to his campaign in preparation for the February primary. Former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman announced Monday that he will report raising about $905,000 for his campaign so far – about $500,000 of which is from his own wallet.Former Chicago Urban League President Cheryle Robinson Jackson, another Democrat who entered the race last month, has not released her quarterly fundraising totals. She has been endorsed by EMILY’s List, which is expected to provide her with a significant fundraising boost.