More than $22 million was spent by Illinois political candidates in the state primary elections last month.
According to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, about $11 million of that spending was spent on TV ads and just $123,000 was used toward online and web ads. Print ads, including mailers, billboards and yard signs, still reign for campaign advertising in Illinois, making up more than half of the $22 million spent on primary election ads.
Spending was by far the highest in the Democratic 5th House district race between incumbent Ken Dunkin and Juliana Stratton, with the challenger spending more than $1.8 million on ads -- or 92 percent of her campaign expenditures -- compared to Dunkin's $553,000. Illinois GO also spent $2.5 million on campaign ads against Stratton, who ended up beating the incumbent. House Speaker Michael Madigan came in third in campaign ad spending for the primary, putting $380,000 toward advertising, which was 37 percent of his campaign expenditures. His opponent, Jason Gonzales, spent all $91,000 of his campaign expenditures on print ads. Incumbent state Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago) was also among the top advertising spenders in the state House races, putting $321,000 toward ads.
On the Senate side, Republican Sam McCann (R-Plainview) spent more than $461,000 on campaign ads to fend off Rauner-backed challenger Bryce Benton. McCann was up against $3 million in spending from PACs and another $25,000 from Benton's campaign committee.
Omar Aquino and Angelica Alfaro, who has ties to Gov. Bruce Rauner and his GOP supporters, battled it out in the 2nd senate district, spending almost $80,000 and $67,000, respectively. Aquino won the race.
Incumbent state Sens. Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) and Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park) spent more than $124,000 and $138,000, respectively. Mettawa Mayor Casey Urlacher (R) spent more than $153,000 in a three-way race to replace outgoing state Sen. Dan Duffy in the 26th district. But Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods), who was sworn into office last Thursday, beat out Urlacher and Martin McLaughlin and spent just $63,000 on campaign ads.