Underwood has big financial lead over Gryder in 14th Congressional District race

Democratic U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood of Naperville dramatically outraised Republican challenger Scott Gryder of Oswego over the last three months, records show, leaving her better equipped financially for the campaign's crucial final weeks.

Underwood's campaign raked in about $1.2 million between July 1 and Sept. 30 - more than three times Gryder's $348,041 quarterly fundraising haul.

Likewise, Underwood has raised about $6.4 million since the campaign began - more than 14 times Gryder's $439,720 total for the cycle. Neither has gotten much financial help from their respective political parties - indicating party leaders expect an Underwood victory, said Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois Springfield.

"The smart money consensus is that this is safe for Underwood," Redfield said.

Underwood's quarter

Congressional campaigns must file financial reports with the Federal Election Commission once they collect or spend at least $5,000.

The latest reports, detailing activity between July 1 and Sept. 30, were due last weekend. They're viewable at

The Lauren Underwood for Congress committee started July with more than $2.8 million saved.

Of the donations received last quarter, about $960,365 came from individuals, more than $54,332 were transfers and more than $183,388 came from political action committees representing special interests, including:

• $3,500 from the Illinois Corn Growers Association, a group that backed Gryder in the primary.

• $2,500 cash and $90 in in-kind donations from Planned Parenthood.

• $1,000 from NARAL Pro-Choice America.

• $1,500 from the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ rights group.

Team Underwood also received about $5,003 in in-kind donations from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, $23,505 from a joint fundraising committee called the Lauren Underwood Victory Fund and $34,340 from a political action committee called Elect Democratic Women.

Underwood reported no donations from political committees tied to corporations.

"I'm honored to have such strong support from my community to propel us toward victory," Underwood said in a news release. "We need serious leaders who will represent our values in Congress and not radical special interests."

Underwood's campaign spent more than $1 million on printing, ad production, consulting and other operating expenses during the quarter and nearly $4.3 million during the entire election cycle. It finished September with no debts.

Gryder's quarter

Gryder, the Kendall County Board chairman, defeated four fellow Republicans in the June primary.

His campaign has a pair of committees. Scott Gryder for Congress is the primary committee, records indicate, while Gryder for IL-14 had been the Take Back IL-14 Republican Nominee Fund until changing names in August. It sent nearly all its cash to the main committee in September.

The campaign started July with less than $12,437 saved.

Of the donations received during the quarter, about $153,041 came from individuals, about $76,540 were transfers and $49,050 came from political action committees.

Donors included:

• Downstate U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood's campaign committee and his Abraham Lincoln PAC, which gave $7,000 total.

• U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and his Eye of the Tiger PAC, which gave $7,000 total.

• The Congressional Leadership Fund, a group dedicated to electing Republicans to the House, which gave $5,000.

• Conservative megadonor Richard Uihlein of Lake Forest and his wife, who together gave $6,000.

Team Gryder also got $5,800 from Texas-based real estate developer H.R. Perot Jr. and his wife. They supported GOP candidates in other Illinois races, too.

The Gryder campaign spent more than $70,777 on consultants, printing, magnets and other operating expenses during the quarter and about $214,415 during the entire election cycle. It also gave the Illinois Republican Party $22,200 last quarter.

The campaign finished June with $38,217 in old debts to the candidate.

Gryder spokeswoman Gabriella Shanahan on Wednesday said Underwood won't be able to "fool Illinoisans about her record" on taxes and other issues regardless of how much money her campaign has collected.

The redrawn 14th District encompasses parts of Kane, Will, DeKalb, Kendall, LaSalle, Bureau and Putnam counties.

Election Day is Nov. 8.

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