Schneider holds big fundraising advantage over Severino

Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider holds a sizable campaign finance advantage over his Republican opponent, newly filed documents show.

Schneider, the four-term 10th District congressman from Highland Park, started the month with more than $2 million to spend on his campaign, according to the filings with the Federal Election Commission.

Joe Severino, a first-time candidate from Lake Forest who founded a valet business, had $4,794 in his campaign coffers.

Severino's disclosure earlier this month marked his first report to the FEC, and it came two years after he declared his candidacy.

Congressional candidates must file the financial reports once they collect or spend at least $5,000. The latest reports, detailing fundraising and spending for June 9-30, were due July 15. They can be viewed at

Despite the disparity, Severino said he's not worried and is just now starting to ramp up his campaign. A self-described populist who grew up a Democrat, Severino said he thinks he can appeal to Hispanics and even Democrats in an "independent" district.

"It's about hitting the pavement and shaking hands," Severino said. "I think I have the edge to get out there and deliver a new message. Could it be drowned out by a war chest? Absolutely. ... So it's my job to get out there and be smart about how we spend it. I have a pretty good marketing background and a great campaign team and I don't think it's going to be one of those races where we have to raise $10 million and still lose. I think we can raise less money and still be very effective."

A Schneider spokesman declined to comment on the latest filings.

Schneider's campaign committee started the second quarter FEC filing period with more than $3 million saved, and it subsequently collected $222,735.

Of those contributions, $118,444 came from individuals, while $95,600 came from political action committees representing special interests. Notable contributors included:

• Bain Capital Co-Chairman Joshua Bekenstein and his wife, Anita, chair of the board at Upstream USA, a Boston-based organization that promotes contraceptive use - $2,900 each.

• Anthony Rossi, chairman of property management firm RMK Management - $5,800.

• Oak Street Health Chief Innovation Officer Geoffrey Price - $5,000.

• Kirkland & Ellis Senior Partner Daniel Perlman - $4,000.

• Stephen Hartell, vice president of public policy at Amazon - $2,000.

• Athletico Physical Therapy founder Mark Kaufman - $1,500.

Schneider received donations from a host of committees representing banks, pharmaceutical companies and pro-Israel policies, among others, including:

• American Express - $5,000.

• The Real Estate Roundtable - $5,000.

• Maryland Association for Concerned Citizens, a pro-Israel group - $5,000.

The Schneider campaign spent more than $1.1 million during the period - and about $1.4 million during the entire quarter - on staff payroll, legal fees, printing, travel and other expenses. It finished June debt-free.

Schneider's committee also made $1,000 contributions to the reelection campaigns of fellow Democratic incumbents Sean Casten, a Downers Grove resident running in the 6th District, and Bill Foster, a Naperville resident running in the 11th District.

Severino's fund started the latest filing period $93.50 in the red, but it subsequently collected $12,675.

His single-biggest donation was $2,900 from Frank Giacobbe, owner of Duke's Oil Service, a Bensenville-based oil and waste removal hauler.

Severino didn't get any money from political committees or the National Republican Congressional Committee.

"There's a lot of grass-roots money coming in," Severino said.

The committee spent $7,787 on printing, catering and gas. And it made a $1,200 contribution to Bobby Piton, who lost a seven-way GOP primary for U.S. Senate and was among the most vocal in the race to deny Joe Biden's election. Severino's committee finished June with no debts.

The newly redrawn 10th District encompasses parts of Cook, Lake and McHenry counties, starting in Wilmette and going up to the state line, then extending as far west as Hebron.

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