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updated: 7/19/2012 11:00 AM

Foster gets closer to Biggert in money race

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  • Judy Biggert and Bill Foster

      Judy Biggert and Bill Foster

 
 

Democrat Bill Foster continued to close the financial gap with Republican U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert during fundraising efforts between April and June.

And, continuing his strategy of staying on offense in the 11th Congressional District contest, Foster's campaign slammed Biggert for the cash she's raking in from PACs rather than individuals.

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The money race has been tight between the two throughout the campaign. Through June, Foster has about $1.27 million in his war chest moving forward compared to about $1.5 million for Biggert.

Biggert is getting a little help from the The New Prosperity Foundation.

The group is led by Greg Baise, the head of the Illinois Manufacturers Association, and former gubernatorial candidate Ron Gidwitz.

It was formed to elect Republicans and has spent about $37,000 on advertising opposing Foster in the race.

Biggert's latest campaign financial report shows the majority of the donations she received came from PACs in the past quarter.

Biggert netted about $462,000, about $237,000 of which came from PACs.

That distribution drew the attention of Foster's campaign manager Patrick Brown.

"The Washington (D.C.) special interests have rallied around Biggert. It really shows that they know she's going to put their interests first, and they've come together to protect one of their biggest allies."

Biggert Spokesman Gill Stevens said the criticism from Foster's camp about Biggert's PAC money ignores how many PACs operate and where they are based.

"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," Stevens said.

Foster pulled in about $76,000 from PACs this past quarter. But the vast majority of Foster's fundraising came in the form of about $398,000 in individual contributions. His overall total for the quarter of about $475,000 reflects an ongoing trend of Foster outraising Biggert in a race with geographic boundaries tailor made by Illinois Democrats during redistricting to elect one of their own.

In a written statement, Foster attributed the higher level of individual contributions to people concerned about Congressional gridlock he believes Biggert has supported.

"Congresswoman Biggert has become part of the problem in Washington," Foster wrote.

Biggert's campaign highlighted her better overall financial footing in the race as proof she will defeat Foster in the stretch run this fall. Campaign Manager Mike Lukach noted the 80 percent of individual contributions Biggert received specifically from Illinois as a highlight this past quarter.

"That is a testament to the true grass-roots strength of the Biggert campaign," Lukach said in a written statement.

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