U.S. Rep. Bill Foster regains fundraising crown in 11th District
Three months after one of U.S. Rep. Bill Foster's Republican challengers reported raising more money from individual donors than the veteran Naperville Democrat, Foster has regained the fundraising crown in the 11th District.
Foster collected $368,623 from individual donors and $227,576 from political action committees in the first three months of 2022 for a total haul of $621,562 -- more than all of the GOP candidates combined, documents show.
It was Republican Catalina Lauf of Woodstock -- one of six GOP candidates in the 11th -- who brought in more cash from individual donors than Foster in the fourth quarter of 2021. This time around, however, Lauf's sum in that category was less than 42% of Foster's -- and her overall total was about 25% of his sum.
Additionally, reports show Foster has collected nearly $1.7 million in the election cycle, more than Lauf's roughly $1.2 million total. Lauf's total receipts had been slightly ahead of Foster's at the start of the first quarter.
Foster, a former particle physicist first elected to Congress in 2008, thanked his backers in a news release.
"I continue to be honored by everyone who chooses to support me and I look forward to serving the new Illinois' 11th District next Congress," he said.
Redrawn for the 2022 election, the 11th District encompasses parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will, DeKalb and Boone counties.
Six Republicans are running for their party's nomination in the June 28 primary and the chance to face Foster in the Nov. 8 general election: Lauf; Mark Carroll of North Aurora; Jerry Evans of Warrenville; Susan L. Hathaway-Altman of the Geneva area; Andrea Heeg of the Geneva area; and Cassandra Tanner Miller of Elgin.
Congressional candidates must file quarterly financial reports with the Federal Election Commission once their campaigns collect or spend at least $5,000. First-quarter reports covering Jan. 1 through March 31 were due last week and can be viewed at fec.gov.
The Bill Foster for Congress committee started last quarter with nearly $4.3 million in the bank.
Foster serves on the House's financial services committee and the science, space and technology committee, and many of Team Foster's donations came from political action committees representing the financial industry, his report showed. They included:
• Bank of America Corp., which gave $2,500.
• TD Bank, which gave $1,000.
• Citigroup, which gave $1,000.
• Morgan Stanley, which gave $2,000.
Two groups supporting abortion rights donated to Foster, too: NARAL Pro-Choice America, which gave $1,000; and Planned Parenthood, which gave $2,000. So did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's campaign committee, which gave $4,000.
The Foster campaign spent about $288,670 on salaries, printing, consultants and more in the quarter -- roughly 46% of what it took in during the period. The group also reported more than $1 million in debt to the candidate.
The Catalina for Congress committee started the quarter with about $255,976 saved. It reported collecting about $156,144 during the period.
Nearly all of Lauf's cash came from individual donors. Only two reported donations came from political action committees: $2,200 from a former Republican candidate for a county office in Ohio; and $2,000 from Republican congressional candidate Joe Kent in Washington state.
Team Lauf spent about $263,879 on consultants' fees, printing, travel and more during the quarter, roughly 169% of the total that came in.
Lauf's campaign also made donations to groups totaling $4,770 in the quarter, including $2,000 to Kent's campaign three days after he sent her the same amount.
Lauf reported no debts and ended the quarter with $148,241 saved.
When asked to comment on her first-quarter fundraising, Lauf issued a statement in which she expressed gratitude for the support she received.
"My campaign is powered by small donors and volunteers," she said. "I'm excited to push forward as we continue to spread our vision for Illinois and our country."
Evans started fundraising last quarter and collected $113,176 during the period, his report showed. He received no help from political committees.
"My campaign is proudly powered by the people I am running to represent, not Washington special interests," Evans said in a news release. "It is inspiring to see their energy and enthusiasm as we head towards the primary."
Notable Evans supporters included Naperville resident Michael Pierce, who ended a bid for the 11th District GOP nomination in January and gave Evans $2,000, and former Illinois Supreme Court Justice S. Louis Rathje, who gave $1,000.
The Evans campaign spent $29,369 during the quarter, 26% of what it brought in. It ended March with $83,806 saved and no debts.
Carroll started fundraising last quarter and collected $18,365 during the period. Nearly all of that cash came from individual donors; he received $2,500 from former state House candidate Laura Curtis' campaign committee. Curtis and Carroll both are North Aurora village trustees.
The Carroll campaign spent $15,188 during the quarter, nearly 83% of what it brought in. It ended March with less than $3,178 saved and no debts.
Tanner Miller's campaign started fundraising last quarter and ended the period deep under water financially, her report showed. It collected $2,525 in donations, spent less than $600 and reported $48,302 in debts to vendors and consultants.
Neither Heeg nor Hathaway-Altman filed quarterly reports.