Rep. Underwood’s fundraising again tops Republican hopefuls’ in 14th District

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U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood significantly outraised and outspent her Republican rivals in Illinois’ 14th Congressional District this spring, records show.

Underwood, a Naperville Democrat seeking a third term, collected about $606,407 in campaign donations between April 1 and June 8, the period covered by recent preprimary reports. Her campaign also spent nearly $518,195 during the same period, even though she is running unopposed in the June 28 Democratic primary.

None of the five GOP hopefuls — Scott Gryder of Oswego, Michael Koolidge of Rochelle, Jack Lombardi of Manhattan, James Marter of Oswego and Jaime Milton of Fox River Grove — came close to matching those numbers.

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

The preprimary reports were due last week. This close to an election, candidates also must report new contributions of $1,000 or more. The reports can be viewed at fec.gov.

The Lauren Underwood for Congress committee started April with more than $2.3 million saved. Nearly $538,018 of the campaign’s springtime donations came from individuals; more than $31,324 came from political action committees representing special interests. They included:

• The American Medical Association, which gave $1,000.

• The National Organization for Women, which gave $5,000.

• The International Association of Fire Fighters, which gave $2,500.

The Underwood campaign also received $32,600 from the Underwood Foster Victory Fund, a joint committee with U.S. Rep. Bill Foster of Naperville, who serves the 11th District.

After expenses, Team Underwood finished the period with more than $2.4 million banked and no debts. Underwood subsequently reported receiving an additional $61,879 through Tuesday.

Scott Gryder for Congress started April with less than $39,742, and it collected about $63,783. Individuals gave $53,864; political committees gave $7,800, including $5,000 from the International Union of Operating Engineers and $250 from former state Sen. Bill Brady.

After spending more than $84,592 on consultants, printing and more, the Gryder campaign finished with less than $18,933 saved and $15,000 in debt to the candidate.

It subsequently reported receiving $15,000 more, through Tuesday.

Koolidge for Congress started April with less than $103,956, and it collected $22,415. Individuals gave $21,565, a political action committee representing the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies gave $600, and a conservative group called the Stamp Act PAC gave $250.

The Stamp Act PAC has alleged banks, media companies, Democrats and other groups are involved in a “corrupt bargain” and aim to “destroy the republic,” its website says. It held a candidate forum for 14th District candidates in April.

After spending about $91,855 on consultants, direct mail, signs and more, the Koolidge campaign finished with more than $34,515 saved and $23,873 in debts to vendors and the candidate. It subsequently reported receiving $14,700 more, through Tuesday.

The Friends of Lombardi committee started the period with $30,436, and it collected more than $35,053. Individuals gave about $4,048; Lombardi also received $250 from the Stamp Act PAC and $5 from the campaign committee for Mark Burns, a televangelist running for Congress in South Carolina who has a history of controversial political and social statements.

After spending about $35,461, the Lombardi campaign finished with more than $30,028 saved and no debts.

Marter for Congress started April with about $39,714, and it collected more than $16,795. Individuals gave $11,605; the Stamp Act PAC gave $500, too. Additionally, some donations that appeared to be from individuals were listed as coming from political committees.

After spending more than $44,943, Team Marter finished with more than $11,566 saved and about $82,671 in debts, nearly all to the candidate.

Milton hasn’t submitted any financial reports to the FEC.

Redrawn for the 2022 election, the 14th District encompasses parts of Kane, Will, DeKalb, Kendall, LaSalle, Bureau and Putnam counties.

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June 22, 2022 at 05:36PM

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