The democratic primary race for State Representative Ken Dunkin’s 5th District seat has drawn more than $3 million in campaign funds. All that money has allowed both candidates to advertise on TV well beyond the borders of a state house district.
A WBEZ analysis found more than $818,000 in spending on local broadcast TV in the last few weeks. All for an election where only about 10,000 voters tend to show up on primary day.
Both candidates have bought lots of time on news shows, running on every local station.
Dunkin, backed by allies of Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, made his biggest spend on a spot that will run on ABC’s prime-time drama “Scandal” later this week: $19,000.
His opponent, Juliana Stratton, supported by labor unions paid $12,000 each for spots on “The Bachelor” and “How to Get Away with Murder.”
Stratton has invested in a broader array of prime time shows, including “Blue Bloods,” “NCIS Los Angeles,” and “The Good Wife.”
She has also run ads on late-night TV, including “Saturday Night Live,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
Dan Weissmann is a reporter for WBEZ. Follow him @danweissmann