Congressman Jesús García uses almost $1 million in first campaign year

In his first campaign year in the election cycle, Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García of Illinois’s 4th congressional district spent nearly $1 million after winning against Mark Wayne Lorch of the Republican Party with more than 86% of the votes.

García was elected to Congress in November 2018 and sworn into office on Jan. 3 of this year. He is one of only three congressmen who are newly elected. The 15 other Illinois congressmen were re-elected for this term.

Fundraising focus for unopposed primary candidate John Shimkus

Despite being unopposed in the Republican primary and winning reelection to his seat by 41 percentage points over Democratic challenger Kevin Gaither, U.S. Rep. John Shimkus still spent $1.8 million during the 2018 election season.

Shimkus spent the most money on Gula Graham Group. The Washington, D.C.-based fundraising firm received $500,519 from Volunteers for Shimkus during the 2018 campaign. Another fundraising company, The Voyageur Company of St. Paul, Minnesota, received $57,000.

Dem. Rep. Sean Casten buys big media with big money

Democrat Sean Casten spent $6.7 million in the 2018 congressional election to become the representative for Illinois’ Sixth Congressional District, a Chicago west-suburb district that saw the largest amount of money raised and spent in Illinois for a Congressional election. 

Since 2007, the Sixth District had retained support for its former Republican House Representative, Peter Roskam. However, the district swung left in 2018 and elected Casten, despite Roskam spending slightly more than Casten in the 2018 election cycle, totaling at $7 million. Casten won the election with 53.6 percent of the vote, followed by Roskam with 46.4 percent. “[Sean’s election win] was an illustration of the blue wave,” said Nancy Shepherdson, a Democratic committeewoman for the Sixth District who helped in Casten’s campaign. “But it didn’t just happen.

Rodney Davis campaign targets media, quadrupled advertising in 2018

Davis’s campaign spent about nearly $4.1 million in the 2018 election cycle. In the 2016 cycle, he spent $2.4 million.

The organization that received the most of Davis’ money was Strategic Media Services. This company specializes in advertising for political candidates. Davis paid Strategic Media Services a total of $1.9 million in the 2018 election cycle.

Mike Quigley’s campaign favors sporting events for fundraising

Democratic congressman Mike Quigley of Illinois’s fifth congressional district spent over $1.2 million to win re-election in his 2018 House race against Republican challenger Tom Hanson. Quigley easily won re-election to his sixth term in Congress with almost 77 percent of the vote compared to Hanson’s 23 percent of the vote. 

The FEC does not have data on Hanson’s campaign expenditures. 

Despite the majority vote, Quigley’s campaign saw fundraising as its top expenditure category, with $426,021 spent, with Wrigleyville Rooftops being the top recipient for the campaign’s fundraising events. This was an increase from the 2016 cycle when the campaign spent $301,780 in the fundraising category out of a total of $822,178 spent in the cycle. This fundraising category was followed by television advertising, direct mail, transfers to national party committee, meals and beverages, mobile phones, website, polling, office fees, and campaign merchandise to round out the campaign’s top 10 expenditure categories. 

The Quigley campaign has been paying Wrigleyville Rooftops to host fundraising events for the campaign at Chicago Cubs games. In the 2018 cycle, his campaign spent $31,065 on Wrigleyville Rooftops Cubs fundraising events.

Longtime Illinois representative campaign expenditures low

U.S. Congressman Danny Davis, Democrat, of District 7 has occupied his seat in the House of Representatives for over 20 years.  Davis was re-elected to his seat on earlier this month – defeating his opponent Republican Craig Cameron by more than 80 percent of the votes.

And each year, Davis has one of the lowest campaign spending and contribution amounts of the Illinois representatives, spending anywhere from $300,000 to $600,000 and raising as little as $200,000 and as much as $600,000.

Illinois campaign spending not always transparent

Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL 10th District) was one of the top campaign spenders among Illinois candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016.
For the competitive race in District 10, he reported expenditures of about $5.6 million in the 2015-2016 election cycle. But for this year’s race, he only spent $1.5 million so far, according to federal election records.