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New Widget Helps You Follow the Money in the Illinois Governor’s Race

We’ve created a widget you can use to track fundraising and spending in the Illinois governor’s race, which is on track to break records.

The 2018 race for Illinois governor could be the most expensive in U.S. history. With nine months until election day, the five leading candidates have raised more than $136 million, already exceeding any other contest before in Illinois.

Democrat J.B. Pritzker has spent over $34 million of his $49 million campaign chest in an attempt to win the Democratic nomination. And a once sleepy Republican race has seen shifting alliances in recent weeks, after billionaire Dick Uihlein gave $2.5 million to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s challenger, Illinois House Rep. Jeanne Ives, who opposes abortion and rights for gay and transgender people.

To track this money circus, ProPublica Illinois has created a graphics widget that will update with the latest fundraising information. You can use it on your site to help your visitors follow the money.

We want this widget to help readers understand this unprecedented money race, and to complement the political reporting being done around the state. We also want to help spread high-quality, data-driven reporting around Illinois. Making this widget available for free is an experiment in achieving that goal.

What Does it Look Like?


How Do I Use It?

Paste this embed code into your website’s content management system.


<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

Where Does the Data Come From?

The Illinois State Board Of Elections.

How Often Is It Updated?

The frequency of updates varies by the type of data. Contributions are updated daily. Spending numbers (and any numbers calculated from spending) are current as of the last quarterly filing date.

What User Data Does the Widget Collect?

We track views using ProPublica’s PixelPing. We don’t collect any personally identifiable data.

What Can We Do With the Widget?

We have a few ideas:

  • Use the widget to identify trends in fundraising for further reporting.
  • Run it with stories about the race and candidates to add information and context.
  • Publish it as a standalone chart so readers can track the money race.

What’s Next?

We aim to add some kind of archival navigation in the next week or two, add columns for self-funding and donations back to parties, and incorporate as much design feedback as possible.

If the widget proves to be useful, we’ll consider adding automated social media images and a version for the general election.

Who Can I Talk With For More Information?

Drop [email protected] a line if you need support or just to let us know you’re using it.

We’re also holding two short webinars:

David Eads

David Eads is a former news applications developer at ProPublica Illinois, where he combined journalism with software development.

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