News - McHenry County

Foster’s $4.9 million campaign fund dwarfs Lauf’s total, records show

Bill Foster, left, and Catalina Lauf are candidates for the 11th District Congressional seat in November.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster’s campaign coffers dramatically exceed those of Republican challenger Catalina Lauf, new reports show.

Foster, of Naperville, started July with more than $4.9 million saved to spend on advertisements, mailings and other expenses during the campaign ahead. Lauf, of Woodstock, had just $25,924 set aside.

Lauf defeated five rivals to win the GOP nomination in June. Foster, who has represented the 11th District since 2013, ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

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 by the end of last week. They can be viewed at fec.gov.

The Bill Foster for Congress committee started the latest FEC filing period with more than $4.7 million saved, and it subsequently collected about $342,229. But an investment loss of $89,949 reduced its receipts for the period to $252,250, reports show.

In this last period, nearly $190,070 came from individuals, $4,482 came from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in cash and in-kind donations and $126,825 came from political action committees representing special interests.

Foster is a member of the House financial services committee, and he received thousands from companies in the insurance, investments and banking industries, including:

• The Goldman Sachs Group, which gave $1,000.

• Bank of America, which gave $2,500.

• The American Bankers Association, which gave $1,500.

Other Foster supporters included committees for Planned Parenthood, which gave $3,000, and the LGBTQ rights group the Human Rights Campaign, which gave $1,000. Both groups have publicly endorsed Foster.

The Foster committee’s net revenue for the second quarter was about $711,880. Campaign manager Dovile Svirupskaite called Foster’s fundraising numbers “robust.”

“[They] allow us to head into the general election in a strong position,” Svirupskaite said in a news release. “We are energized and committed to reaching voters in every part of the 11th District.”

Team Foster spent about $90,924 during the period – and $382,398 during the quarter – on staff payroll, consulting, printing, travel and other expenses. It finished June with more than $1 million in debt to the candidate.

The Catalina for Congress committee started the latest filing period with about $33,826 saved, and it subsequently collected nearly $66,460. Its revenue for the second quarter was about $210,586.

In this last period, about $62,960 came from individuals. The committee also received two donations from political committees: $1,000 from a group called the Citizens United Political Victory Fund that backs conservative candidates; and $2,500 from a group called American Grit that’s associated with Republican U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack of Florida. American Grit endorsed Lauf in May.

Team Lauf spent more than $74,362 during the most recent period – and $332,903 during the quarter – on printing, consulting, radio ads and more, records show. It finished June with no debts.

Lauf didn’t reply to interview requests.

Redrawn for the 2022 election, the 11th District encompasses parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will, DeKalb and Boone counties.