Despite being under fire from hard-liners in his party, Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger continues to build a sizable bankroll for his 2022 reelection bid, outraising all the candidates who thus far have risen to challenge him, federal records show.
Kinzinger, a Channahon resident who represents Illinois’ 16th Congressional District, collected more than $806,000 in campaign donations during the year’s second quarter and finished the period with nearly $3.1 million saved – substantially more than his rivals.
After enraging many within the GOP by voting to impeach former President Donald Trump and by criticizing Trump and others who have espoused far-right views or lied about the 2020 election, Kinzinger may well need that money to stay in Congress.
“Facing the uncertainty of redistricting and the certainty of a primary challenge, it is certainly prudent to be building his war chest early,” said Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois Springfield.
In the 17th Congressional District, sole candidate Esther Joy-King, R-East Moline, raised more than $425,000 in the second quarter compared to around $164,000 in the first quarter.
“Quarter 2 is in, and together we raised over $425,000,” she said in a statement. “I am honored to be entrusted with these resources and commit to using them with great stewardship towards winning our race in 2022.”
Joy-King serves as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve in the Judge Advocate General Corps and is assigned to the Rock Island Arsenal. She’s also a real estate lawyer. Joy-King made an unsuccessful run for the seat last year against U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, who is serving her fifth and final term.
A crowded field in 16th
Although new, census-based boundaries for Illinois’ congressional districts have not yet been set, six Republicans have declared they’re challenging Kinzinger for the GOP nomination in the June 2022 primary: Woodstock resident Catalina Lauf, who ran for Congress in the 14th Congressional District last year; Oswego resident James Marter, who also ran in the 14th District last year; Jack Lombardi of Manhattan; Teresa Pfaff of Machesney Park; Geno Young of Chicago; and Leona Di Amore of Channahon.
Marsha Williams of Wilmington is the lone Democratic hopeful so far.
Congressional candidates must file quarterly financial reports with the Federal Election Commission once their campaigns collect or spend at least $5,000. Reports can be viewed at fec.gov.
The latest reports, covering April 1 through June 30, had to be filed by late last week.
The Kinzinger for Congress committee started the quarter with more than $2.5 million saved, records show. Of the about $806,475 in contributions the committee received during the period, more than $349,977 came from individuals, and about $456,319 came from committees representing special interests.
The committee donations included about $124,663 from Kinzinger’s Future 1st group.
Notable Kinzinger supporters last quarter included:
• Former Chicago Cubs and Chicago Tribune owner Sam Zell, who gave $5,600.
• Sam Walton, the grandson of Walmart’s founder, who gave $5,800.
• Walmart’s political committee, which gave $1,000.
• Amazon’s political committee, which gave $5,000.
Team Kinzinger reported $276,156 in spending.
A Kinzinger spokeswoman declined to comment on the fundraising effort.
The rest of the pack
After nearly $152,328 in expenses, Catalina for Congress finished June with about $141,400 saved.
A Team Lauf representative could not be reached.
The Friends of Lombardi committee started fundraising last quarter and reported about $41,157 in receipts. That included about $31,057 in individual contributions, of which $5,800 was the total value of services provided by two vendors.
Lombardi’s filing also identifies as a donation $10,000 worth of campaign data research provided by the candidate.
The campaign got no cash from political groups.
After more than $29,551 in expenses, the campaign finished the period with about $11,605 in the bank.
Lombardi spokesman David Johnson said his team is “encouraged” by the support, and he predicted stronger showings in the year’s third and fourth quarters.
Nearly all that cash came as individual donations. Marter – who, in addition to last year’s run in the 14th District, unsuccessfully ran for the 16th District seat in 2018 and for U.S. Senate in 2016 – received no support from political action committees.
Marter said he received donations from more people last quarter than during any of his prior campaigns, adding that he has “very strong support in and around the 16th District.” However, his FEC report itemizes only nine donations. It doesn’t reveal how many total people cut him checks.
After about $7,608 in expenses, Marter’s committee finished June with less than $7,453 saved.
Marter has lent his various campaigns more than $60,013 since 2017, including about $411 last quarter, records show. All that debt is being carried by his current committee.
The Geno Young for Congress committee hasn’t hit the $5,000 threshold and didn’t file a quarterly report.
The Citizens to Elect Teresa Pfaff committee didn’t file a disclosure report, either.
Di Amore has no paperwork on file with the FEC.
Going by the numbers, Lauf – a Trump loyalist who served as an adviser at the U.S. Commerce Department during his administration – seems to be the only serious GOP challenger, Redfield said. But she’ll need a lot more money to run an effective campaign “unless she can get the former president to go door to door for her before the primary,” Redfield said.
“Lauf has potential,” he said. “No one else does.”
The 16th District includes parts or all of 14 Illinois counties. It stretches from the far northwest suburbs and the Rockford area to downstate Ford County.