Underwood outraises Hultgren in latest campaign finance report

  • Randy Hultgren

    Randy Hultgren

  • Lauren Underwood

    Lauren Underwood

Updated 7/19/2018 12:29 PM
Editor's note: References to Democracy Engine and J Street have been removed from this story.
Democracy Engine was removed because the group did not provide money to the campaign of Democrat Lauren Underwood but was the vehicles for those donations.The J Street reference was removed from the story because the Center for Responsive Politics incorrectly identified the organization as a supporter.
Also, Underwood started fundraising in August 2017, not May 2017.

Democratic challenger Lauren Underwood raised more money than 14th Congressional District incumbent Republican Randy Hultgren in the latest quarter.

The new numbers mark the first time a challenger has outraised Hultgren since the district was redrawn after the last census. And it may be the latest in a series of signs Underwood is mounting the toughest political challenge Hultgren has seen since he first won the seat in 2010.


Federal Election Commission filings show Underwood raised $473,000 in the last quarter. That compares to $386,000 for Hultgren. However, Hultgren has put $1.43 million into his war chest this cycle compared to $1.02 million for Underwood. The challenger didn't get her campaign into full swing until about August 2017.

No Democrat in the last three cycles has even raised six figures in trying to unseat Hultgren. The last Democrat to challenge Hultgren, Jim Walz, raised less than $20,000. Meanwhile, Hultgren's overall tally already approaches the high water mark of $1.6 million he raised in winning the seat in 2010.

A breakdown of the candidates' campaign funding sources by the Center for Responsive Politics shows the securities and insurance industry represents Hultgren's top donors. Chicago-based Performance Trust, the Exelon Corporation, Hanover Park-based CamCraft Inc., Geneva-based Fona International and Xr Trading round out Hultgren's top five donors.

In comparison, most of Underwood's biggest donors are from leadership PACs and organizations with singular political agendas, such as Redwood Grove Capital, which supports investments tied to low-carbon emissions. The Congressional Black Caucus PAC and the Peter Thiel software company Palantir Technologies represent the rest of Underwood's top five donors.

The Center for Responsive Politics reports little outside money has been spent on the race so far. The Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund had a presence during a St. Charles rally for Underwood in May. But it has spent only $861 on the race so far. The Sierra Club, which also supports Underwood, has spent $20 in the race.

Voters shouldn't count out Hultgren no matter how much money Underwood raises. In 2010, then-incumbent Democrat Bill Foster raised $3.8 million and spent almost all of it in his bid to keep the seat. Hultgren beat him by more than 14,000 votes.

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