Chicago-area congressional Democratic candidates lead in fundraising, new FEC reports show

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., once again is the champion fundraiser in the delegation, with $11.6 million cash on hand as of Sept. 30.

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WASHINGTON — Chicago-area Democrats running for Congress in districts that may have some swing potential — all incumbents — have substantially out-raised their GOP competition, new Federal Election Commission reports show.

Congressional districts based mainly in Chicago are so heavily Democratic the incumbents or Democratic nominees face little viable Republican opposition.

Illinois has 17 congressional districts, with new boundaries drawn by Democrats in Springfield.

The biggest local races are in districts that have, to varying degrees, more GOP voters under the new maps.

All of these districts are anchored in the Chicago suburbs, and the incumbent Democrats in these districts — Reps. Sean Casten, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Brad Schneider, Bill Foster and Lauren Underwood — all, with the new maps, have precincts where they have never run before.

Suburban congressional Democrats have money to be on TV

With giant campaign cash advantages — and new districts with voters who don’t know them — Casten, Krishnamoorthi, Schneider, Foster and Underwood have been running television ads in the expensive Chicago broadcast market.

The new FEC reports cover the receipts and spending through Sept. 30 and include disbursements for candidates who faced primaries June 28. Early voting has already started for the Nov. 8 election.

Here is the latest:

3rd District - Ramirez vs. Burau:

State Rep. Delia Ramirez, D-Chicago, is running against Republican Justin Burau of Winfield, for the open seat seen as, at this point, safe for Democrats.

Ramirez:

Raised — $883,714

Spent — $747,174

Sept. 30 cash on hand — $136,539

Burau:

Raised — $26,803

Spent — $24,299

Sept. 30 cash on hand — $2,504

6th District — Casten vs. Pekau:

Rep. Sean Casten, D-Ill., from Downers Grove, faces Republican Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau. Democrats designed the new 6th to be a Democratic district — but it does contain GOP turf. Casten and Pekau both faced primary opponents, so their fundraising had to cover primary and general campaigns.

Casten:

Raised — $4,727, 828

Spent — $4,283,792

Sept. 30 cash on hand — $790,173

Pekau:

Raised — $1,096,024

Spent — $893,807

Sept. 30 cash on hand — $202,216

8th District — Krishnamoorthi vs. Dargis:

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., of Schaumburg, once again is the champion fundraiser in the delegation — and one of the biggest among all House Democrats in the entire country. Krishnamoorthi has been building a giant war chest in part, sources have said, to be in a strong position if a Senate seat opens up. He faces Republican Chris Dargis of Palatine.

Krishnamoorthi:

Raised — $7,938,427

Spent — $4,732,880

Sept. 30 cash on hand — $11,633,394

Dargis:

Raised primary and general — $494,859

Spent primary and general — $367,283

Sept. 30 cash on hand — $127, 575

10th District — Schneider vs. Severino:

Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., of Highland Park, has more GOP turf in his newly drawn district. He faces Republican Joseph Severino of Lake Forest, who has not mustered enough resources to mount much of a campaign. Neither man faced primary opponents.

Schneider:

Raised — $3,377,052

Spent — $3,706,455

Sept. 30 cash on hand — $1,544,359

Severino:

Raised — $12,675

Spent — $7,787

Sept. 30 cash on hand — $4,794

11th District - Foster vs. Lauf:

Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill., of Naperville, is facing Republican Catalina Lauf of Woodstock, who has a bit of a national profile — she spoke at the 2020 GOP convention. She’s also run for Congress before. All that has helped her become the strongest GOP fundraiser in the Chicago area. But she spent so much — she was in a six-way primary — that she enters the closing weeks of the election with a small war chest — especially compared with Foster’s cash stockpile.

Foster:

Raised — $3,295,276

Spent — $2,867, 086

Sept. 30 cash on hand — $4,164,390

Lauf:

Raised — $2,185,453

Spent — $1,998,103

Sept. 30 cash on hand — $187,350

14th District - Underwood vs. Gryder:

Democrats heavily redrew a district for Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., — adding more Democratic voters — because the Naperville resident barely won in 2020. The GOP territory she had been representing — especially McHenry County — was jettisoned and divided among the other suburban Democrats. She faces Scott Gryder of Oswego.

Underwood:

Raised — $6,223,009

Spent — $3,835,365

Sept. 30 cash on hand — $2,925,541

Gryder:

Raised — $504,130

Spent — $304,658

Sept. 30 cash on hand— $199,472

Two downstate seats up for grabs

The congressional districts up for grabs in Illinois are outside the Chicago area. Money from outside groups — called independent expenditures because the spending is not controlled by the campaigns — is also pouring into these downstate contests.

In the 13th District — an open seat — Democrat Nikki Budzinski of Springfield faces Republican Regan Deering of Decatur.

Budzinski:

Raised — $3,242,409

Spent — $2,105,752

Sept. 30 cash on hand — $1,036,656

Deering:

Raised — $1,856,618

Spent — $1,314,248

Sept. 30 cash on hand — $542,369

In the 17th District — another open seat — Republican Esther Joy King of East Moline is running against Democrat Eric Sorensen from Moline.

Sorensen:

Raised — $2,102,189

Spent — $1,807,792

Sept. 30 cash on hand — $294,396

King:

Raised — $4,469,476

Spent — $3,081,803

Sept. 30 cash on hand — $1,389,964

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