Krishnamoorthi leading Cullerton in early fundraising

  • Raja Krishnamoorthi

    Raja Krishnamoorthi

  • Tom Cullerton

    Tom Cullerton

  • Peter DiCianni

    Peter DiCianni

  • Andrew Straw

    Andrew Straw

  • Mike Noland

    Mike Noland

  • Larry Kaifesh

      Larry Kaifesh Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer, 2014

Updated 7/17/2015 4:28 PM

Democratic 8th Congressional District candidate Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg has taken a decisive fundraising lead over his only declared primary rival, state Sen. Tom Cullerton of Villa Park, second-quarter financial reports show.

Krishnamoorthi's campaign committee raised $621,041.42 to Cullerton's $134,760.71 during the quarter both men formally declared their bids to succeed Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth.


Duckworth plans to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Highland Park for his seat in 2016.

However, Krishnamoorthi's strong early start on fundraising hasn't fazed Cullerton's campaign, campaign manager Jeremy Custer said.

"We expected Raja to raise this kind of money," Custer said.

Custer added that the difference in their fundraising efforts emphasizes Cullerton's message that he better represents the middle-class contingent of the 8th District he hopes to represent.

Custer also said that Cullerton -- the former mayor of Villa Park -- has been regularly outspent by political opponents and that Krishnamoorthi has a history of spending a lot on second-place finishes.

Krishnamoorthi lost to Duckworth in the Democratic primary for the 8th District in 2012.

But Krishnamoorthi's campaign manager Justin Lamorte responded that running for Congress requires extensive media resources and the ability to pay for them, particularly in a market like the Chicago area's.

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"To me, it sounds like sour grapes from a campaign that didn't measure up," Lamorte said of Custer's comments.

Though Krishnamoorthi and Cullerton are the only declared Democratic candidates, Democratic state Sen. Mike Noland of Elgin has said he's considering a run and created a committee that raised $41,675 during the second quarter.

Noland could not be reached for comment on the status of his decision to run.

On the Republican side, attorney Andrew Straw of Streamwood confirmed Friday that he was in the race. His committee raised $352 and ended the second quarter with $5.

DuPage County Board member and former Elmhurst mayor Peter DiCianni could not be reached for comment on his prior expression of interest in running. He has not registed a campaign committee with the Federal Elections Commission.

Meanwhile, Larry Kaifesh of Carpentersville, who unsuccessfully challenged Duckworth in 2014, has maintained his campaign committee, which raised $50 during the second quarter and ended the quarter with a total of $66 cash on hand. He could not be reached for comment Friday.

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