Schneider has commanding fundraising lead in 10th District congressional race

Editor's note: Vernon Township board member and Buffalo Grove resident Adam Broad also intends to run in the Democratic primary. Broad has filed a statement of candidacy with the FEC, but he said he has not raised or spent enough money to hit the $5,000 threshold requiring a financial disclosure report.

With the March 2020 primary election five months away, Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider of Deerfield has a commanding fundraising lead over the challengers seeking his job.

Schneider, who represents Illinois' 10th House District, finished September with nearly $1.9 million in the bank after raising $547,384 in the year's third quarter, newly filed campaign finance records show.

In stark contrast, the political newcomer who hopes to upset Schneider in the Democratic primary, Winnetka resident Andrew Wang, hasn't raised enough to reach the $5,000 minimum threshold for disclosure reports.

Republican challenger Valerie Ramirez Mukherjee of Winnetka didn't have a strong fundraising quarter, either. Mukherjee's campaign raised less than $9,000 in the period, her latest report showed.

Mukherjee's campaign also listed more than $101,000 in debts, including $100,000 owed to the candidate, with less than $81,000 saved at the quarter's end.

Congressional candidates must file quarterly financial disclosure reports with the Federal Election Commission once they've reached the threshold. Reports can be viewed at

Documents detailing activity between July 1 and Sept. 30 were due last week.

Schneider, 58, is in his third term in Congress. He first won election in 2012, lost a reelection bid in 2014 and won the seat back in 2016. He won again in 2018.

The 10th District includes parts of Cook and Lake counties. It stretches from Lake Michigan into the North and Northwest suburbs.

Scheider's latest financial disclosure report detailed more than 2,000 itemized donations totaling nearly $302,000 from individual supporters during the third quarter.

The campaign reported nearly $50,000 in donations that weren't itemized.

Schneider also reported more than 100 donations totaling about $199,100 from political action committees representing various companies, labor unions and other special interests. They included committees for:

• Walmart, which gave $1,000.

• Walgreen Co., which gave $10,000.

• Drugmaker Pfizer, which gave $1,000.

• The American Federation of Teachers, which gave $5,000.

• Aerospace and defense contractor Northrop Grumman's employees, which gave $5,000.

• McDonald's, which gave $1,000.

Schneider's campaign spent about $151,625 on staff salaries, consultants, meals, postage and other expenses during the same period.

The campaign declined to comment.

Mukherjee, 46, who runs a family investment business, is the only Republican in the race. Her campaign began fundraising in the third quarter, documents show.

In addition to the money Mukherjee lent the campaign, her latest disclosure report listed four itemized donations. They included one $2,800 contribution from her husband and one from herself for the same amount. The campaign reported $336 in unitemized donations.

Mukjerjee received no help from any political committees in the quarter.

Her campaign spent about $28,124 on printing, consultants and rent during the quarter, records show.

Mukherjee said she's been spending time with constituents "to get a grassroots-level pulse of the district" instead of fundraising.

"I believe there will be ample time to get in front of small donors and the right groups to raise capital," she said.

Before facing Mukjerjee in the November general election, Schneider may have to get past Wang, a 24-year-old medical receptionist with no political experience.

But a primary showdown isn't assured. Wang admitted he doesn't yet have enough signatures to get on the ballot.

"We have not focused on fundraising yet, as we were waiting to see whether the campaign would be viable," Wang's campaign team said in an email. "(We) are now planning on fundraising actively this quarter if we can reach our petition goals over the next couple of weeks."

Vernon Township board member Adam Broad of Buffalo Grove also intends to challenge Schneider in the Democratic primary. Broad has filed a statement of candidacy with the FEC, but he said he has not raised or spent enough money to hit the $5,000 threshold requiring a financial disclosure report.

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