Despite GOP attacks, Kinzinger continues to bring in the campaign cash

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Although he faces an uncertain political future and attacks from within his own party, Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger remains a dominant force when it comes to campaign fundraising.

Kinzinger, a Channahon resident who’s represented Illinois’ 16th District since 2013, received more than $562,000 in campaign donations during the year’s third quarter and finished the period with nearly $3.4 million in the bank, his campaign’s latest financial report showed.

And despite his status as an outcast within the GOP for criticizing former President Donald Trump and voting to impeach him after the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, Kinzinger has been the most successful fundraiser among seven candidates who’ve declared they’re running in the 16th.

But the race will change between now and the June 2022 primary, as the Illinois legislature redraws district boundaries.

The latest version of the map, released Saturday, puts Kinzinger in the same district as the Peoria-area Republican U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood.

LaHood — a four-term representative of the 18th District — is no fundraising slouch. His campaign committee raked in about $604,769 last quarter and finished the period with more than $3.9 million saved, records show.

Follow the money

Congressional candidates must file quarterly financial reports with the Federal Election Commission once their campaigns collect or spend at least $5,000.

The latest reports cover revenue and spending from July 1 through Sept. 30. They can be viewed at fec.gov.

Today, the 16th District includes parts or all of 14 Illinois counties. It stretches from the far Northwest suburbs and the Rockford area to downstate Ford County.

Five Republicans are challenging Kinzinger for the GOP nomination there: Catalina Lauf of Woodstock; Jack Lombardi of Manhattan; Teresa Pfaff of Machesney Park; Geno Young of Chicago and Michael Rebresh of Minooka.

Marsha Williams of Wilmington is the lone Democratic hopeful so far.

Whether Kinzinger or any of the other candidates actually will run in the 16th District, run in other districts or drop out won’t be known until after a new map is finalized.

The Kinzinger for Congress committee started the quarter with more than $3 million saved, records show. Of the contributions it received during the period, about $297,824 came from individuals and about $263,743 came from committees representing special interests.

Cash from that latter group included more than $19,986 from Kinzinger’s Future 1st political action committee.

Other Kinzinger supporters included:

• Lettuce Entertainment restaurant chain co-founder Rich Melman, who gave $2,900.

• Former Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady, who gave $1,000.

• Koch Industries, a company led by billionaire conservative megadonor Charles Koch, which gave $5,000.

• Boeing Co., which gave $5,000.

Kinzinger campaign spokeswoman Maura Gillespie said the team is “very happy” with the fundraising numbers for the quarter. The money mostly was raised through mail and digital campaigns, not an in-person event with a headliner, she said.

Team Kinzinger reported $286,799 in operational expenses and other disbursements, and it listed no debt.

The rest of the pack

Lauf’s fundraising during the quarter was nearly as strong as Kinzinger’s.

The Catalina for Congress committee started the quarter with $141,400 saved, and it brought in more than $453,209 over the last three months, records show.

Of the contributions it received during the period, more than $450,709 came from individuals — far more than Kinzinger’s total for individual donors.

Only one donation to Lauf — $2,500 from the Justice Freedom & Liberty political action committee — came from a special interest group.

Lauf’s committee reported spending about $377,804 during the quarter. It ended September with less than $216,805 saved and no debt.

Lauf, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress last year in the 14th District, and her campaign have refused to answer questions for this story.

In an Oct. 18 Twitter post, the Lauf campaign said Lauf is “a formidable fundraiser” whose success in that area “reflects the sentiments of constituents angry about rising inflation (and the) economic incompetence of Washington elites,” among other factors.

The Friends of Lombardi committee started the quarter with about $11,605 saved. All of the roughly $21,644 in contributions it received during the period came from individuals, records show.

Lombardi’s committee reported spending $20,520 during the quarter, and it finished the period with less than $12,730 saved.

The Rebresh for Congress committee started fundraising this quarter and collected $11,450 during the period, records show. Of that sum, $1,500 was a donation from Rebresh. Rebresh lent his campaign $7,500, too.

Rebresh’s committee reported spending about $9,865 during the quarter and finished September with about $1,585 saved.

Neither Young nor Pfaff filed quarterly reports.

On the other side of the political aisle, the Friends to Elect Marsha Williams committee started the quarter with less than $10,478 saved, records show. Of the roughly $11,390 in contributions it received during the period, $2,800 was a loan from the candidate.

Williams reported spending about $10,205 during the quarter and finished September with more than $11,663 saved.

What about LaHood?

The LaHood for Congress committee started the quarter with nearly $3.6 million, records show.

About $187,414 of his donations last quarter came from individuals and about $417,355 came from political groups or committees.

Donors included:

• A separate committee called Team LaHood, which gave about $112,855.

• The American Bankers Association, which gave $2,500.

• The American Gaming Association, which gave $1,500.

• Pfizer, which gave $5,000.

• The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a political committee for the firearms industry, which gave $1,000.

Team LaHood reported spending $233,130 during the quarter and listed no debt.

When asked about potentially facing Kinzinger in a Republican primary, a LaHood spokesman reissued a statement from the congressman in which he said Illinois Democrats and Gov. J.B. Pritzker “care more about doing the bidding of (Speaker) Nancy Pelosi than giving Illinois voters fair representation in Washington.”

“The proposed maps are a slap in the face to good governance everywhere,” LaHood said.

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October 26, 2021 at 06:02AM

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