GOP hopeful challenging Rep. Brad Schneider invested $1 million in her campaign last quarter

The Republican challenging Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider for his seat in Congress personally lent her campaign more than $1 million during the year's third quarter, a new financial disclosure report shows.

But even with the big cash infusion, Valerie Ramirez Mukherjee is far behind Schneider when it comes to having cash for the final weeks of the 10th Congressional District campaign. Team Schneider had nearly $2 million in the bank at the quarter's end, records show - nearly twice as much as his opponent.

Congressional candidates must file quarterly financial reports with the Federal Election Commission. The latest reports were due last week and cover transactions between July 1 and Sept. 30.

Ramirez Mukherjee is a first-time candidate from Northbrook who runs a family investment business. She's said she's not seeking donations from supporters, and her latest disclosure form reflects that lack of interest in fundraising from outside sources.

Ramirez Mukherjee collected only $9,571 in donations during the quarter. More than half that sum came from a single political action committee - Americans 4 Hindus, which gave $5,000.

The only other itemized donation Ramirez Mukherjee's campaign reported was $2,800 from a California resident. The campaign reported $1,771 in unitemized donations, too.

In contrast, Ramirez Mukherjee made three loans totaling just over $1 million to the campaign during the quarter, reports show. She lent her campaign $100,000 last year, too.

Ramirez Mukherjee said the loans reflect her promise "to run a fiscally responsible, self- and grassroots-funded campaign that is devoid of special political welfare or special interests."

"This report is proof positive that I will work for the voters of the district and will do what is right for them and our country," she said. "I will not be influenced by special interests or politics of polarization."

After spending nearly $11,000 on operational expenses, the campaign finished the quarter with a little more than $1 million saved and debts totaling more than $1.2 million.

Schneider, of Deerfield, is seeking a fourth term on Capitol Hill. His latest disclosure form shows more than $463,021 in total receipts, with more than half that sum coming from individual donors.

Team Schneider also received donations totaling more than $201,343 from political action committees representing special interests. As was the case during the year's second quarter, many of those donations came from organizations in the pharmaceutical and health care industries, including:

• The American Academy of Family Physicians, which gave $2,500.

• The American Hospital Association, which gave $3,000.

• Horizon Pharma USA, which gave $1,000.

• Pfizer Inc., which gave $2,000.

Schneider also received donations from political action committees representing companies and groups in other industries, such as:

• Exxon Mobil Corp., which gave $1,500.

• Home Depot, which gave $2,500.

• A gun-control advocacy group named after former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, which gave $1,000.

• The Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, which gave $1,000.

"When it comes to taking on gun violence and the NRA, I'm proud to be a longtime leader in Congress, and I'm humbled to have earned the support of national gun violence prevention groups like Everytown and Giffords," he said.

Team Schneider spent more than $691,170 during the quarter on operational expenses. The campaign also made $203,650 in donations to other candidates and other organizations.

Many of those donations were to Democrats running for office in Lake County, including: state representatives Joyce Mason, Mary Edly-Allen and Sam Yingling; county board hopefuls Paras Parekh, Marah Altenberg, Gina Roberts and Carissa Casbon; coroner candidate Jennifer Banek; and state's attorney candidate Eric Rinehart.

Schneider said he's grateful to be able to support colleagues at the state and local levels who share his views on issues like gun control and health care.

Schneider finished the quarter with about $1.97 million saved and no debts.

The 10th District includes parts of Cook and Lake counties.

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