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DECATUR - With fewer than 100 days to go until the election, Republican candidates are leading the fundraising battle over their Democratic opponents in Decatur, according to the most recent campaign contribution reports from the Illinois State Board of Elections.

The race brewing between state Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, and his Democratic opponent, Macon County Board member Tim Dudley, is becoming expensive for both sides. McCarter pulled in $121,000 in contributions to Dudley's $87,000, with both candidates relying heavily on political action committees and transfers from other campaigns.

Half of McCarter's money came from the campaigns of other Republicans and political action committees, accounting for $59,000. Large contributions from individuals and companies accounted for $49,000, and contributions in small denominations accounted for $13,000.

"I've got a lot of families and small businesses that have invested in me, and that's an indication of solid support," McCarter said. "Individual contributions are key."

Dudley's donations came overwhelmingly from party and political action committees, making up $71,000 of his war chest. Party money came from Democrats in Bond, Fayette, Macon and Shelby counties.

The biggest spenders were labor unions, including a single $10,000 transfer from the South Central Illinois Laborers Political League. Also, $10,000 came in large contributions from individuals and companies, and about $7,000 came in small donations.

"I'm proud to have the support of the hard-working men and women of the 51st District," Dudley said.

Illinois Senate Democrats covered $17,000 of Dudley's costs, significant amounts of which went to paying his campaign staff and conducting polling. Dudley said that besides those in-kind contributions, he hasn't accepted any donations from Senate Democrats.

"You've got to remember that an individual contributor may only give you $5, but we love that," Dudley said. "We've had close to 200 individual contributors, so we're very happy about that."

Republican Adam Brown, the 24-year-old who last year became the youngest member of the Decatur City Council, brought in $35,000 to incumbent state Rep. Bob Flider's $33,000.

Brown announced his candidacy in April, less than a year after he won election to the council. Of his funds, $3,000 came from the coffers of Republican candidates and organizations. Also, $22,000 came in large denominations, including several from local businesses and $4,125 from family members or companies owned by them.

Brown's campaign also received substantial help from Illinois House Republicans, who paid $5,800 in staff and other expenditures for his campaign.

"I'm very excited with the outpouring from friends and family and concerned citizens as well," Brown said. "I think that broad base of support shows that people want to get their voices heard in Springfield. It's an exciting time for us."

Flider, D-Mount Zion, got more than half of his money from political action committees or other campaigns, bringing in about $18,500 in transfers. Coming in small denominations from individuals was $5,000, and $8,000 came in larger donations from local individuals and businesses. House Democrats footed the bill for $1,900 of Flider's costs.

"Since he was appointed to run against me in April, (Brown has) had all the time in the world to campaign and raise money, and I have not had that luxury," Flider said. "I think my constituents expect that if they're paying my salary, they expect me to be working and not fundraising."

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