Election 2012: Congressional money race
Updated at 2:46 a.m. on Oct. 17
Campaign finance reports from the third quarter (July – September) were due this weekend to federal election officials. Candidates had to report how much cash they raised (and from whom), how much they spent (and to whom) and how much they have left.
Illinois looks to have some super competitive U.S. House races in the March primaries. This is, in part, the result of new district boundaries formed during this year’s redistricting. The once-a-decade process was controlled by Illinois Democrats, as they hold the governor's office and majorities in both chambers of the legislature. Keep in mind, Republicans filed a lawsuit against the new map, and the boundaries could change.
But, for now, the map is what the map is. So here’s a look at the top-line money situation in a few of the expected primary races in Northern Illinois congressional districts. And if you just can’t get enough of campaign finance data, listen to WBEZ's Eight Forty-Eight on Monday morning.
SOUTH CITY, SUBURBS AND EX-URBS: Illinois’ Second Congressional District
Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson is running against 16-year incumbent U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. The two have battled for years over control of the non-existent Peotone Airport. Now they’ll battle in a Democratic primary as Jackson’s district absorbs area much farther south. Halvorson announced her campaign about ten days ago. She told me at the time she had some cash left in her account from her 2010 loss, but had not started fundraising for this race.
“Because I did not want to raise money until I knew I was going to do this, because it wouldn’t be fair to anybody to take their money and then me decide not to do this,” Halvorson said. However, she did claim to have nearly $100,000 in pledged donations, “all in very small amounts.” Those pledges, of course, are not reflected in the totals below.
|DEM primary IL 2||Cash as of July 1||Third quarter raised||Third quarter spent||Cash as of September 30|
|Debbie Halvorson||$221,772.39||$83.66 (interest)||$11,544.86||$210,311.19|
|Jesse Jackson, Jr.||$305,818.10||$85,725.00||$132,327.00||$259,215.47|
This is a solidly Democratic seat. The only Republican with paperwork on file with the Federal Election Commission is the Rev. Isaac Hayes. He ran in 2010 against Jackson, but told me last week, “Right now it doesn’t look like I’m running” in 2012. He said he’s focusing on helping Mitt Romney win the Republican nomination for president. (Romney was one of the only established politicians to help Hayes in 2010; his PAC gave Hayes $2,500.)
NORTHWEST SUBURBS: Illinois’ Eighth Congressional District
The new 8th District is quite a bit more Democratic than it was a year ago, when Tea Partier Joe Walsh upset incumbent U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean. Walsh is likely to run in the new 14th, so this is an open seat.
The Democratic primary is a showdown between two candidates who’ve run big races before and impressed a lot of people, but failed to take home a win. Tammy Duckworth is a Purple Heart-awarded Iraq War veteran and former veterans affairs official at the state and federal levels. She lost a 2006 bid for Congress in the 6th District to Republican Peter Roskam.
Raja Krishnamoorthi is a former campaign advisor to now-President Barack Obama, and a former deputy state treasurer under Alexi Giannoulias. Krishnamoorthi lost the Democratic primary last year for state comptroller to state Rep. David Miller (who ended up getting crushed by Republican Judy Baar Topinka in November).
|DEM primary IL 8||Cash as of July 1||Third quarter raised||Third quarter spent||Cash as of September 30|
Duckworth got into this race a few weeks after Krishnamoorthi, so the cash-on-hand total is a bit misleading. But that's still a considerable advantage for Krishnamoorthi.
While a number of Republican names have popped up in press reports considering runs for the district, none have filed recently with the FEC.
NORTH SHORE: Illinois’ Tenth Congressional District
The 10th has become more Democratic under the new map, but freshman U.S. Rep. Robert Dold is still going for re-election. Right now he has a huge cash advantage over the Democrats eying the seat, with just shy of a million dollars on-hand, having raised $376,534 in the quarter. (As is common with sitting members of Congress, he got more than half of those recent donations from political action committees.)
The Democrats include Ilya Sheyman, a former MoveOn.org organizer and staffer to then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, and business consultant Bradley Schneider.
|DEM primary IL 10||Cash as of July 1||Third quarter raised||Third quarter spent||Cash as of September 30|
Schneider's total raised this quarter includes a $100,000 loan from himself - on the final day of the reporting period. Take that away and his fundraising appears to be stalling.
NORTH AND WEST EX-URBS: Illinois’ Fourteenth Congressional District
U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, currently of the old 8th District, announced last month that – unless the Democrats’ map is changed – he’ll be running in the new 14th. That pits him against the district’s current occupant, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren. Both are Republican, both freshmen who beat Democratic incumbents in the 2010 wave and both are on the more conservative end of the GOP House caucus.
Where they differ is style. Walsh is a cable TV regular, a flame-thrower, a “fighter” in his words. And he’s already casting Hultgren as a career politician and a go-along-get-along type. Hultgren, a former state legislator, is soft-spoken, and – he argues – more focused on local issues than Walsh is. He’s painting Walsh as erratic and sound-bite driven.
|GOP primary IL 14||Cash as of July 1||Third quarter raised||Third quarter spent||Cash as of September 30|
The candidates' cash totals look much like they did at the beginning of the quarter, with both spending roughly what they raised. But Walsh has a definite cash advantage going into the final months.
No Democrats have recently notified the FEC that they intend to run in this district, which is considered solidly Republican under the new boundaries.
NORTH CENTRAL STATE: Illinois’ Sixteenth Congressional District
Youth vs. experience. Energy vs. stability. Freshman vs. ten-termer.
U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, elected just last year to the 11th District, would face fellow Republican Donald Manzullo if the new map holds. Kinzinger will be just 34 when voters go to the polls in March, when the primary rolls around. Manzullo, who’s represented much of the district since 1993, will be just shy of his 68th birthday. And there’s going to be a lot of money around to buy up Rockford airtime.
|GOP primary IL 16||Cash as of July 1||Third quarter raised||Third quarter spent||Cash as of September 30|
Manzullo really stepped up his game this quarter, but trails Kinzinger due to the freshman's aggressive fundraising earlier in the term.
No Democrats have recently filed with the FEC to run in this solidly Republican district.
Keep an eye on the 11th District - though for the general election, not the primary. Former Congressman Bill Foster, a Democrat defeated last year by Hultgren, is looking for a comeback as the party's presumed nominee. He raised nearly $300k these past few months, and has $552,588.36 on hand. And he'll need it, as his likely GOP competition is flush.
If the map holds, he'll probably face Republican U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, whose 13th District was relocated to the southern half of the state, and whose Hinsdale home got swallowed up in Congressman Mike Quigley’s 5th District, which extends all the way to Chicago’s North Side. Biggert took in nearly as much as Foster did in the third quarter, but started with a bulging bank account. She now has $886,412.29 at the ready.