September 21, 2021

Underwood and Casten raising big bucks ahead of 2022 congressional campaigns

Months after winning tough reelection races for their congressional seats, suburban Democrats Lauren Underwood and Sean Casten are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for their 2022 campaigns, federal reports show.

Underwood, a Naperville resident in her second term representing the 14th District, collected about $875,668 in campaign donations during the year’s second quarter.

Casten, a Downers Grove resident in his second term serving the 6th District, collected more than $476,177 in the same period.

Congressional candidates must file quarterly financial reports with the Federal Election Commission once their campaigns collect or spend at least $5,000. Reports covering April 1 through June 30 were due this month.

Reports can be viewed at fec.gov.

The Lauren Underwood for Congress committee started April with more than $1 million saved. Of the contributions Underwood received during the quarter, about $696,945 came from individuals and about $178,653 came from various committees or special interest groups, her report shows.

Notable Underwood supporters last quarter included:

• The American Nurses Association’s political committee, which gave $10,000.

• The Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which gave $2,000.

• The 314 Action Fund, which supports scientists running for office to battle climate change and improve the American health care system, gave $2,500.

• The campaign of Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Schneier of Deerfield, which gave $1,000.

Underwood, who defeated Republican Jim Oberweis in 2020, ended the quarter with nearly $1.5 million saved.

“I am always grateful for the ongoing support of Team Underwood,” Underwood said in a news release. “We have started campaigning aggressively this year, as we know (the 14th District) is a top target for 2022.”

The district includes parts of DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will, DeKalb and Kendall counties. No challengers have surfaced yet.

The Casten for Congress committee started April with nearly $495,284 in the bank. Of the contributions Casten received during the period, more than $390,858 came from individuals and $85,000 came from political action committees, his report shows.

Notable Casten supporters last quarter included:

• The 314 Action Fund, which gave $5,000.

• The political committee for ComEd’s parent company, Exelon, which gave $1,000.

• Pfizer’s political action committee, which gave $2,000.

• The American Federation of Teachers, which gave $2,500.

Casten’s campaign also owes him about $75,694 for loans received in 2017.

Casten, who defeated Republican Jeanne Ives and Libertarian Bill Redpath in 2020, couldn’t be reached for comment.

The 6th District includes parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.

Two Republicans -- Justin Burau and Niki Conforti -- have filed candidate paperwork with the FEC in the 6th District. Neither submitted quarterly financial reports.

Both the 14th District’s and 6th District’s boundaries -- along with all the others in Illinois -- will be redrawn ahead of the 2022 election because of population changes recorded in the 2020 census. The state is set to lose one of its 18 congressional districts.