Under attack from the right, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger leading the fundraising pack in 16th District
Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger is building a multimillion-dollar campaign war chest as he prepares for challenges from within his own party in 2022's midterm election.
Kinzinger, a Channahon resident who represents the 16th District, sailed to a reelection victory in 2020. But he has been a target for GOP hard-liners who've blasted him for voting to impeach former President Donald Trump after January's deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, as well as for comments Kinzinger has made about Trump and others who have espoused far-right views or made untruthful statements about the 2020 election results.
Even though congressional districts will be redrawn ahead of the next election, five Republicans already have declared intent to challenge Kinzinger for the GOP nomination in spring 2022: Woodstock resident Catalina Lauf, who ran for the 14th District seat last year; Oswego resident James Marter, who also ran for the 14th District seat last year and unsuccessfully challenged Kinzinger in 2018; Jack Lombardi of Manhattan; Teresa Marie Pfaff of Machesney Park; and Leona Di Amore of Channahon.
Marsha V. Williams of Wilmington is the lone Democratic candidate so far.
Congressional candidates must file quarterly financial reports with the Federal Election Commission once they hit a $5,000 threshold. Reports can be viewed at fec.gov.
The latest reports, covering Jan. 1 through March 30, had to be filed by Thursday night. They show Kinzinger vastly outraised all his challengers in the quarter.
The Kinzinger for Congress committee started 2021 with more than $1.5 million in the bank and received more than $1.1 million during the quarter, records show.
Of those new donations: more than $573,011 came from individuals; about $254,250 came from political action committees representing special interests; and about $321,191 came as transfers, including more than $295,309 from Kinzinger's own Future 1st committee.
Notable Kinzinger backers included:
• Media giant Fox Corp., which gave $2,500.
• Koch Industries, a company led by billionaire and noted Republican campaign contributor Charles Koch, which gave $2,500.
• Sinclair Broadcast Group, a TV station operator known for promoting conservative political positions, which gave $1,000.
• News Corp., owner of The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and other media outlets, which gave $1,000.
• Craig J. Duchossois, chairman and chief executive officer of the Chicago-based Duchossois Group, who with his wife, Janet, donated $11,600.
• Ashley D. Joyce, president of the Duchossois Family Foundation, who gave $5,800.
After roughly $126,811 in total spending, Team Kinzinger finished the period with more than $2.5 million banked.
In a news release, Kinzinger said the financial support he received in the first quarter shows people support his push for truth and honesty in politics "and putting country over party."
"These numbers show that we have momentum here," Kinzinger said.
Lauf's Catalina for Congress committee started the year with no cash and received $163,460 during the quarter, documents show.
That included about $155,960 in individual donations and two donations totaling $7,500 from political action committees. Of that latter sum, $5,000 came from Lauf's own Defense of Freedom political committee.
After roughly $62,715 in spending, Catalina for Congress finished the period with about $100,745 saved.
When asked to comment about her fundraising, Lauf accused Kinzinger of taking money from lobbyists and Democrats -- even though his report is full of Republicans and right-leaning companies.
In contrast, Lauf said she is "building a grass-roots campaign fueled by committed conservatives across Illinois' 16th District."
Marter submitted his latest quarterly report as a 14th District candidate, as that was the last seat he pursued.
The Marter for Congress committee started the quarter with about $73 in the bank and received $3,287 during the period, including an $850 loan from Marter. After spending nearly $985, Marter's committee finished the period with about $2,376 saved.
Lombardi's Friends of Lombardi committee didn't file a quarterly report.
Quarterly reports weren't available for Williams, Di Amore or Pfaff.
The 16th District includes parts or all of 14 Illinois counties. It stretches from the far Northwest suburbs and the Rockford area to downstate Ford County.