Biggert, Foster about even in race for campaign cash
By Susan Frick Carlman firstname.lastname@example.org July 17, 2012 3:40PM
Where they $tand
From individual donors
Cash on hand
Source: Federal Election Commission
Updated: August 19, 2012 6:09AM
The two contenders hoping to represent Illinois’ newly redrawn 11th Congressional District in Washington have taken in comparable sums for the November contest, accumulating some $3.47 million between them so far, filing data shows.
Their fund-raising success, however, can be traced to different factors.
Incumbent Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Hinsdale, who has represented the former 13th District since 1998, maintains a nearly $270,000 edge in cash on hand, although Democratic challenger Bill Foster is steadily gaining ground. His campaign noted this week that with the release of second-quarter reports to the Federal Election Commission, Foster has now outpaced the seven-term lawmaker in money raised over the past five quarters.
Their money comes from somewhat separate contribution quarters. More than half of Biggert’s campaign income for the 2011-2012 cycle has come from political action committees, while more than 85 percent of Foster’s $1.7 million has been given by individual contributors.
Patrick Brown, Foster’s campaign manager, said it’s a “consistent theme” for the candidate’s effort to return to Congress. Foster represented the 14th legislative district from 2008 to 2011, when he fell short in his re-election bid to Randy Hultgren, R-Winfield.
“Grass-roots donors, especially in Illinois, know that Bill Foster is going to put middle class families ahead of special interest PACs,” Brown said.
He attributes the discrepancy in campaign support from private individuals to Biggert’s votes “against Wall Street commonsense reform” and those he said that have led to American jobs being sent overseas.
Campaign staff for Biggert, however, described their satisfaction with the campaign reports, which came out Monday.
The statement said the legislator is “honored and humbled by the outpouring of support for her candidacy from Americans from all walks of life across the country,” particularly those in her home state.
“In the last quarter, Judy has raised more than $460,000, with more than 80 percent of individual contributions coming from Illinois,” the campaign said in a press release. “That is a testament to the true grass-roots strength of the Biggert campaign.”
Biggert spokesman Gill Stevens said that “the numbers speak for themselves.”
“Judy Biggert maintains her critical cash-on-hand advantage going into the true beginning of the campaign,” Stevens said in an email. “Moreover, the congresswoman is pleased to have widespread support from men and women of all occupations and interests, including teachers, firefighters and employees that are in her district, many of whom have chosen to make their contributions through their workplace PACs.”