Also Dan Hynes said he sent a letter Thursday to top state officials about payroll problems the state could face if a new state budget isn’t approved soon.
Democratic candidate Colleen Callahan says she has raised about $250,000 so far for her 18th Congressional District campaign to succeed U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Peoria.
Callahan, making her first run for elective office, spoke briefly Thursday about her fundraising efforts at a Springfield news conference where state Comptroller Dan Hynes announced he is endorsing Callahan.
The next Federal Election Commission campaign finance reports, covering the period through Monday, will be available to the public in mid-July. Callahan said she expects to have cash on hand totaling "in the neighborhood" of $130,000 to $140,000.
Other contenders for LaHood’s congressional seat are Aaron Schock of Peoria, a Republican now serving in the Illinois House of Representatives; Sheldon Schafer of Peoria, the Green Party nominee; and Bradley Carter of Peoria, the Constitution Party of Illinois nominee.
Schock campaign manager Steve Shearer declined to talk about his candidate’s campaign finances until the FEC reports are done.
"It’s premature," Shearer said. "Ordinary voters aren’t really concerned about that."
Schafer said he has raised "a few thousand dollars" but doesn’t yet expect to meet the $5,000 fundraising threshold that requires filing an FEC report. He said his campaign would rely on small contributions from donors.
"I don’t feel a desperate need for a million dollars," he said.
The Democratic comptroller, in endorsing Callahan, said she would provide "proven, mature leadership." Hynes said later the comment was not meant as a shot at the 27-year-old Schock.
"Age is not an issue and should not be an issue," he said.
Callahan thanked Hynes for the endorsement, saying, "I hope to add my name to his reputation of being an effective public servant."
Later on Thursday, Shearer brushed off the Hynes endorsement, saying, "It’s not much news that a Democrat is endorsing a Democrat."
On another topic, Hynes said he sent a letter Thursday to top state officials about payroll problems the state could face if a new state budget isn’t approved soon.
The letter points out that July 10 is a key date, Hynes said. If no budget is in place by then, state government could start missing payrolls.
Hynes avoided taking sides in the ongoing squabbles involving Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Senate President Emil Jones and House Speaker Michael Madigan, all Chicago Democrats.
"What should have happened is months ago, there should have been a better dialogue between the leaders of the House, Senate and the governor, to come together on an agreed budget that lays out what our mission and our priorities are for state government," Hynes said. "I think it’s still not too late for everybody to come together and say, here’s what we need to do."
The governor and legislative leaders must talk to one another and acknowledge they’re in "a staring contest to see who blinks first," Hynes said.
"The ones who are going to get hurt in this contest are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of vulnerable innocent people," he added. "That needs to change, and it starts with the leadership at the very top."
Adriana Colindres can be reached at (217) 782-6292 or email@example.com.