CHICAGO – Gov. Bruce Rauner's name isn’t on the ballot and House Speaker Mike Madigan is only on the ballot in his district, but their fight is taking place all over the state.
Republicans and Democrats have spent $50 million on state races, with most of it coming from only a handful of donors and special interests.
Both parties have invested millions in the race for the Illinois House’s 20th District seat. The only Chicago Republican in the General Assembly, State Rep. Michael McAuliffe, is fighting off a challenge from Democrat Merry Marwig.
“This seat could be the difference of whether Speaker Madigan gets a Super Majority or not,” McAuliffe said. “A lot of my colleagues and people down in Springfield told me to get ready, that I was probably going to have one of the most contested races in the state.”
Both sides are pouring in big money. Republicans have spent more than $2.5 million on TV ads for McAuliffe, reportedly the most in any state race in the country.
The amount of money Marwig and McAuliffe have raised is staggering. Since March 16, Marwig brought in $1.6 million, much of it coming from unions, and McAuliffe raised more than $2.5 million, including a recent transfer of $1.6 million from the House Republican Organization.
“Never in a million years would l have expected that $2.5 million would be spent on false advertisements against me,” Marwig said. “For me, this has always been about the issues and what people want to talk about.”