The youngest of the Democratic candidates running for the 10th Congressional District seat led the way in fundraising during the last quarter of 2011, federal records show.
Ilya Sheyman, a Waukegan resident who at 25 is just old enough to run for Congress, collected $178,904 in campaign donations between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, according to newly filed campaign disclosure reports.
Brad Schneider finished second in the quarterly money race. The Deerfield resident's campaign committee received an estimated $134,262 in donations.
But incumbent Republican Bob Dold of Kenilworth outraised both of them combined, collecting $355,831 in the quarter, records show.
Sheyman and Schneider are among four Democratic candidates trying to unseat Dold in the 10th District, which includes parts of Lake and Cook counties. The other hopefuls are Vivek Bavda of Mundelein and John Tree of Long Grove.
All of them are first-time candidates.
A fifth Democrat, Aloys Rutagwibira of Hainesville, was removed from the ballot by the state board of elections Thursday because he did not have enough legitimate signatures on his candidate petition.
Political candidates for federal office must regularly file financial reports with the Federal Election Commission. The reports are available for public review at fec.gov.
Sheyman's fundraising report included more than $10,000 in donations from the MoveOn.org political group, with which he once worked.
He also received cash from political action committees representing the American Federation of Government Employees, an ironworkers labor union and a longshoremen union, among other donors.
"We've outraised all of our opponents by a wide margin for the second quarter in a row, and we have an incredible 11,000 individual donors," Sheyman campaign manager Annie Weinberg said in an emailed statement. "This indicates that ours is the only campaign that has what it takes to go up against Robert Dold in the general."
Sheyman's campaign finished the quarter with about $206,770 in the bank.
Schneider's donors included former state Rep. Julie Hamos, an Evanston Democrat who unsuccessfully ran for the 10th District Democratic nomination in 2010. She gave $500 to his campaign, records show.
Schneider, 50, also received donations totaling $15,500 from six political action committees.
Those groups included the campaign committee for U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, a political action committee Hoyer leads, a committee associated with U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley of New York and a committee associated with U.S. Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut.
Schneider ended the quarter with about $451,787 in the bank, which made him the best-funded candidate at the start of 2012. The sum includes a $100,000 loan from Schneider.
"The support we've received from across the district has grown each and every day," Schneider said in an emailed statement. "I am grateful for the confidence voters have placed in my campaign, and I know that with their continued support, we can win in November."
Tree's fundraising effort placed him a distant third.
His campaign reported receiving $68,181 in donations during the quarter. He reported no donations from political action committees.
Tree's fundraising report included 18 in-kind donations totaling $35,950 from Tree himself. The donations covered filing fees, food and beverage purchases, legal services, travel and other expenses, the report indicated.
Tree, 45, ended the year with $84,343 in his campaign bank account. That includes two loans from Tree totaling $33,000.
Despite the sizable gap between Tree and the financial front-runners, Tree's campaign staff called his fundraising "remarkable," pointing out that he didn't start fundraising until the middle of the quarter.
"He is confident that, based on hundreds of pledged commitments, he will have all of the resources necessary to win the primary on March 20th (and) to take on Bob Dold," campaign finance director Grant Herring said in an emailed statement.
Bavda's campaign raised just $4,381 in the quarter.
Bavda, 34, did not report any donations from political action committees. None of his donations was greater than $500.
Bavda finished the year with $11,705 in the bank. He acknowledged his campaign will be outspent by the others but was not about to concede the race.
"In the era of the Internet (and) with the type of commitment Democratic primary voters in the 10th District have, I know I will be heard, and that is all I need to win this election," Bavda said in an email.
Although paperwork was due by midnight Tuesday, a financial disclosure report from Rutagwibira was not on file with the FEC.
Dold, 41, of Kenilworth, dramatically outraised the other candidates during the quarter.
His donations included thousands of dollars from pest-control company executives. Dold's family owns a pest control business.
Dold's FEC report listed donations from several political action committees, including three representing Native American groups.
Political committees representing American Airlines, Anheuser-Busch Companies, AT&T, Hospira, Humana, Microsoft and other corporations also gave Dold thousands of dollars.
Dold's campaign ended the year with $1.2 million saved. And without a primary opponent, he can save that sum for his eventual general election matchup.
"I am pleased with the support our campaign is receiving from the residents of Illinois' 10th District," Dold said in a news release. "We are gearing up for an exciting general election race and my supporters are engaged and enthusiastic about our campaign."