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In IL 14, An Expensive Primary

The race to replace former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is going to prove expensive, even before a Democrat gets involved. Several wealthy candidates, including dairy owner Jim Oberweis and State Sen. Chris Lauzen, will likely contribute heavily to their own campaigns, and indeed have already done so.

After declaring his candidacy just three weeks ago, Lauzen, a State Senator since 1992, will report having raised over $210,000 from more than 265 donors. Lauzen is also kicking in a personal loan of $325,000, for a cash on hand total north of $525,000, sources tell RCP's Tom Bevan.

Oberweis's campaign refused to release fundraising numbers, but a source tells Politics Nation the campaign will begin running its first advertisements today. The district, which stretches west of Chicago from Aurora nearly to the Iowa border, is Cubs territory. The team faces the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first round of the playoffs, and thanks to Major League Baseball's decision to put the games on cable, ad rates are significantly less expensive than network rates would be.

With ads going up so early -- the primary is scheduled for March -- the race will only get more expensive.