Fourteen contributors have made donations larger than $1,000 to the Lake Forest Caucus in the past month. (Shutterstock)LAKE FOREST, IL — Campaign finance disclosures indicate the Lake Forest Caucus is preparing for the potential of one of town's priciest local political campaigns in decades.The Lake Forest Caucus is a political action committee that endorses candidates for local elections and board appointments.
All registered voters who reside in Lake Forest are considered members of the 88-year-old caucus. The organization is governed by a 43-member caucus committee, which includes an executive committee made up of seven officers and four ward chairs, according to its bylaws.At the caucus's annual meeting on Nov. 9, its general membership voted to endorse the caucus committee's recommended candidates for the District 67 and District 115 school boards and councilmembers in all four wards.
But a majority of the members who voted said "no" to the caucus committee's pick for mayor. According to caucus representatives, about 3 percent of registered Lake Forest residents voted and 2 percent voted against the committee-endorsed candidate. Find out what's happening in Lake Forest-Lake Bluffwith free, real-time updates from Patch.
Let's go!Nonetheless, after speaking to some lawyers, the committee decided the vote of residents was non-binding and nominated Randy Tack as mayor. He now faces challenges from two candidates, former 1st Ward Ald. Prue Beidler and local electrical engineer Paul Hamann.
On Dec. 12, Beidler formed a campaign committee, which has raised $25,000 via a single donation from her husband, Frank.
Since then, the caucus has ramped up fundraising in anticipation of a contested election.
In the past month, the caucus had raised $77,500 from individual donors, its biggest single month of fundraising found in decades of state campaign finance records. Here are all contributors of $1,000 or greater to the Lake Forest Caucus that were reported to the Illinois State Board of Elections since mid-December:
$12,000 on Dec. 18*
$8,000 on Jan. 9
$12,000 on Dec. 20
$10,000 on Dec. 20
James S. Preschlack
$6,000 on Dec. 20
$6,000 on Dec. 23
Matthew and Janet K. Nagel
$5,000 on Dec. 23
$5,000.00 on Jan. 9
Dearborn Capital Management Ltd., Chicago
$2,500 on Jan. 9
$2,000 on Dec. 17
$2,000 on Dec. 22
George A. Pandaleon
$1,000 on Dec. 14
$1,000 on Dec. 17
Charles and Calvine Bowen
$1,000 on Dec. 20 Ara and Christine Goshgarian
$1,000 on Dec. 21