While Gov. Pat Quinn makes a point during an appearance Friday on his Mexican trade mission, the governor's campaign fund grew fatter back at home thanks to fundraising successes in late March. (AP Photo)
SPRINGFIELD-With a late-March surge of fund-raising, Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign chest amassed more than $550,000 in the first three months of 2013, narrowing the substantial lead in funds of potential 2014 Democratic gubernatorial challenger Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
Quinn, who had just more than $1 million in campaign funds - a relatively scant sum for a mid-term governor - by the end of 2012, received more than $490,000 in contributions on three consecutive days in the last week of March, according to Illinois State Board of Elections data.
"It shows that Gov. Pat Quinn has a lot of support and will continue to have a lot of support as he gears up for re-election," a Quinn campaign spokesperson said. "The governor will continue to raise money as needed."
The outpouring of cash for Quinn arrives on the heels of a similar surge in fund-raising by venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, who is eyeing the Republican nomination for governor and claims to have raised $1.3 million since starting raising money on March 5.
Meanwhile, data shows Madigan has raised a meager $30,000 since the start of the year. However, the potential primary candidate began the year with more than $3.6 million, which is more than triple what Quinn began with.
Quinn spent a day in Los Angeles on March 22 for a funding event at Hollywood producer Bob Teitel's home, where hosts included Chicagoans such as Jim Belushi, Jeff Garlin and Chaz Ebert, a Quinn spokesperson said. Quinn's 2013 campaign contributions include more than $30,000 from a dozen different Californian donors, more than half of which came after Quinn's visit there.
Quinn also attended a fund-raiser in Chicago at Loft 644 on March 28. Most of the 134 contributions to Quinn in 2013 came from Illinois donors, including $25,000 from the Service Employees International Union of Illinois; $20,000 from the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association; and $10,000 from Wirtz Beverage Illinois, LLC, which is co-owned by Rocky Wirtz, Chicago Blackhawks owner and investor in Sun-Times parent company Wrapports, LLC.