Republicans are taking the lead in campaign receipts for the 14th and 16th Congressional District races, as well as the Illinois House of Representatives 70th District race, as the November general election draws nearer.
Despite their Republican counterparts raising more money than them, Democrats in those races said they are optimistic their message will resonate more than their campaign finances.
Illinois House 70th District race
The campaign of incumbent state Rep. Jeff Keicher, R-Sycamore, has raised about three times as much as Democratic opponent Paul Stoddard of DeKalb.
Keicher’s current campaign account is at $65,776, with top donations coming from groups such as the House Republican Organization and Citizens for Pritchard, according to Illinois Sunshine by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.
Stoddard, a DeKalb County Board member and a former NIU geology professor, has received $23,147, according to Illinois Sunshine.
Stoddard said the campaign fund is closer to $15,147 after spending $8,000 since his quarterly report was submitted June 30.
Keicher said he couldn’t believe how much it costs to run for office and how much radio advertisements, mailers and signs cost.
“And our race is tame compared to many others,” Keicher said.
Stoddard said he’d eventually like to see money for the 70th District be raised in the district and not from outside unions, political action committees or political leaders.
But, he said, he’s been amazed at the amount of money that his campaign has been able to raise.
“I’m pleased about that,” Stoddard said. “It’d be nice to have more resources to draw on to do a more complete job of getting the message out.”
Keicher said he has been surprised and disappointed to see how little people have given to Stoddard’s campaign in comparison.
But he said he’s grateful for the contributors to his campaign.
“As a first-time candidate, these are people opening up their hearts and wallets and saying they believe in you,” Keicher said.
16th Congressional District race
Campaign funds for incumbent U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, are about four times greater than his Democratic challenger Sara Dady’s, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Kinzinger has received a total of $872,398 in contributions, with some of the top donations coming from groups such as the Adam Kinzinger Future 1st Committee and individual contributions from Craig and Janet Duchossois. More than $519,000 came from PACs, while individual contributions totaled about $352,869.
Dady has received $212,995 in total contributions, according to the Federal Election Commission.
She said there have been recent additional contributions that raised the amount to $284,000.
Dady said she is on budget for her half-million-dollar campaign fund and is feeling great about her fundraising efforts.
She said most of her funds are coming from individual contributions by design and, while it costs money to send mailers and for broadcast advertisements, face-to-face contact with constituents is critically important.
“You need to know what voters in the district really care about,” Dady said. “You can’t know that if all you do is run TV commercials on what your message is.”
Kinzinger and his campaign staff did not return a request for additional comment Tuesday.
14th Congressional District race
Campaign funds for U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Plano, only are moderately ahead of Democratic opponent Lauren Underwood’s, campaign finance reports show.
Hultgren has received a total of $1,431,948 in contributions, with some of the top donations coming from groups such as the National Automobile Dealers Association and Political Action Committee, which donated $5,000, according to the Federal Election Commission.
About $987,379 came from PACs, while individual contributions total about $450,343, according to campaign reports.
Alternatively, his challenger, Underwood, a Naperville Democrat, has received $1,015,640 in contributions from groups such as the Women’s Wave Illinois 2018 and the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education.
Underwood received $168,717 from PACs and $295,526 from individual contributions.
Hultgren, who has represented the 14th District since 2011, predicted earlier this week that the race could have a close finish.
Underwood recently criticized the incumbent for supporting President Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax overhaul that capped homeowners’ property tax deductions at $10,000 for 2018.
The $10,000 state and local tax deduction cap built into the law does not best serve taxpayers of the 14th District, where the average deduction before the bill passed was $14,453, she said.
Hultgren has said nine out of 10 District 14 residents would see a benefit from the bill, in addition to what he perceived as advantages for the business economy.
• Northwest Herald reporter Katie Smith contributed to this report.