Democrat U.S. Rep. Underwood has huge fundraising lead over GOP's Gryder
Democratic U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood of Naperville started July with a campaign fund more than 200 times the size of Republican challenger Scott Gryder's, new reports show.
Underwood, who's seeking a third term representing Illinois' 14th District, had about $2.8 million saved as the year's third quarter began.
Gryder, an Oswego lawyer who serves as the Kendall County Board chair, had only $12,437 in his campaign coffers.
Gryder topped a field of five candidates to win the GOP nomination last month. Underwood ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Election Day is Nov. 8.
Congressional campaigns must file financial reports with the Federal Election Commission once they collect or spend at least $5,000.
The latest reports, detailing fundraising and spending between June 9 and June 30, were due late last week. They can be viewed at fec.gov.
Underwood's campaign committee started the period with more than $2.4 million saved, and it subsequently collected more than $425,753. About $333,639 came from individuals. Notable supporters included: former state Rep. Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook, who gave $250; comedian Laurie Kilmartin, who gave $10; and restaurateur Richard Melman, who gave $100.
About $63,701 came from political action committees representing special interests, including:
• Planned Parenthood, which gave $3,000.
• NARAL Pro-Choice America, which gave $1,000.
• The LGBTQ rights group the Human Rights Campaign, which gave $1,000.
• Perimeter PAC, a group associated with U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates, which gave $2,500.
Additionally, Underwood received $18,075 from the Lauren Underwood Victory Fund, a joint committee founded by Underwood, the Illinois Democratic Party and a leadership committee Underwood founded called American Mosaic. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee contributed nearly $2,866 in cash and in-kind donations, too.
Over the entire second quarter, Team Underwood brought in more than $1 million.
Underwood's campaign spent less than $63,190 during the last period -- and $581,385 during the full quarter -- on payroll, travel, direct mail and other expenses. It finished June debt-free.
Underwood thanked her supporters in a news release.
"We have a vision for the future of our community where hard working Illinoisans have high-quality and affordable health care, our children are free from the terror of mass shootings, women have full authority over their health care decisions, there are more good paying union jobs rebuilding our infrastructure, and billionaires and corporations finally pay their fair share of taxes," Underwood said. "That's a vision worth fighting for, and I'm honored to have the support of my community to bring it to life."
Gryder's committee started the latest FEC filing period with less than $18,933 saved, and it subsequently collected more than $24,593.
About $19,593 came from individuals, including former U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, who gave $500.
Gryder got one donation from a political action committee -- the Illinois Corn Growers Association, which gave $5,000. Additionally, Kendall PAC, a group that supports GOP candidates in Kendall County, donated about $1,584 worth of radio ads.
Over the entire second quarter, the campaign collected $88,376.
Team Gryder spent more than $31,089 during the last period -- and $115,681 during the entire quarter -- on consultants, printing and other expenses. It finished June with $38,217 in debts to the candidate.
A Gryder spokeswoman didn't respond to interview requests.
Despite being short on cash compared with Underwood, Gryder's campaign has been highlighted by the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Guns program.
He's been labeled an "On the Radar" candidate, along with Catalina Lauf of Woodstock in Illinois' 11th District and Palatine's Chris Dargis in the 8th. Lauf is challenging incumbent Democrat Bill Foster of Naperville, while Dargis is taking on incumbent Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg.
Orland Park's Keith Pekau has been dubbed a full-fledged "Young Gun" by the NRCC in his 6th District race against Democrat Sean Casten of Downers Grove.
Redrawn ahead of the 2022 election, the 14th District encompasses parts of Kane, Will, DeKalb, Kendall, LaSalle, Bureau and Putnam counties.