WHEATON - Illinois teachers unions are beginning to write checks to GOP incumbents and primary challengers, hoping to bolster the ranks of union-sympathetic Republican Senate and House members.
The Illinois Political Action Committee for Education (IPACE) - a sister organization to the Illinois Education Association - has $2,859,091 on hand for the upcoming election year. While IPACE normally donates to more Democrat than Republican candidates, they're beginning to invest in GOP primaries.
Thus far, they've donated $2,500 to Republicans State Rep. Dennis Reboletti, who is in a GOP primary race against Republican Chris Nybo to succeed State Senator Kirk Dillard.
IPACE has also given $5,000 to State Senator Sam McCann (R-Springfield) who is not up for re-election in 2014.
Although IPACE has yet to report the contribution, GOP primary challenger Adam Johnson has received $5,000 on January 15th, bringing his cash on hand to $23,000. Johnson is challenging freshman State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) in the March 18th primary.
IPACE also has a stake in who emerges the winner of the 97th House District seat, which was vacated by Former State Rep. Tom Cross, who is running for Treasurer.
Monday, they wrote a $5,000 check to Illinois Education Association legislative committee member and teacher Amanda Mancke of Oswego. Mancke is in a three-way primary contest with commercial realtor Mark Batinick of Plainfield and Shorewood Mayor Richard Chapman.