Possible Blagojevich challengers trail in fundraising
Springfield, Ill. – Six Republicans who might run for Illinois governor next year have raised a combined $6.6 million so far this year.
Businessman and former state superintendent Ron Gidwitz leads the pack with about $3 million in the bank.
State Senator Steve Rauschenberger - who will officially enter the race today (Tuesday) - raised $785,000 in the first half of 2005. That's about $3,000 more than dairy magnate Jim Oberweis.
Congressman Ray LaHood raised just less than $600,000 but is still undecided as to whether he'll run.
State Senator Bill Brady raised $550,000.
DuPage County State's Attorney Joe Birkett - who ran for Attorney General in 2002 - had not yet filed his report Monday evening, but a spokesman said it would show only about $163,000.
The campaign reports were filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections.
But none of the Republicans are close to current governor Rod Blagojevich, who has more than $14.4 million in the bank for his re-election bid next year, which blows away any previous records.