Republican candidate to run for Krishnamoorthi's 8th District seat
While Democratic congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg will again face rivals in his party's June 28 primary, he could meet a Republican challenge for his 8th District U.S. House seat for the first time since 2018.
Peter Kopsaftis of South Barrington is the fourth 8th District candidate, and first Republican, to file an annual campaign fundraising report with the Federal Election Commission.
Like Krishnamoorthi and Democratic challengers Junaid Ahmed of Oak Brook and Faheem Mohammed of Plainfield, Kopsaftis is a businessmen born overseas before immigrating to the U.S.
Kopsaftis, 73, said he was raised in a small village near Sparta, Greece, and grew up amid the civil war that followed German occupation during World War II. He moved to the U.S. and ultimately Chicago in the late 1950s.
Though long active in politics, this will be Kopsaftis' first run for elected office. He also is seeking election as a Republican committeeman in Barrington Township, a position he currently holds by appointment.
Kopsaftis said he has supported both Democratic and Republican candidates -- finding inspiration in the words of both President John F. Kennedy and President Ronald Reagan at different points in his life.
He said he initially was a Democrat, but later experienced changes in his thinking that made him a Republican.
"I don't think the Democratic Party is the Democratic Party of the '60s and '70s," he said.
He said his top priorities include the economy, national security and border security.
While differing politically from the Democratic 8th District candidates, Kopsaftis said he respects the similarities of their backgrounds and doesn't intend a divisive campaign driven by personal attacks.
"I came to this country with hardly anything at all. I owe this country a debt of gratitude that will never be repaid," Kopsaftis said. "I'm concerned about the crime. I'm concerned about where our country is at. And I'm concerned about the anguish people are feeling. There's so much hatred, so much divisiveness. People are scared."
According to his FEC report, Kopsaftis began 2022 with $37,140 raised, $3,721 spent and $33,419 cash on hand.
Krishnamoorthi, 48, raised $4,455,844 last year, spent $1,333,151 and had $11,550,540 of cash in hand at the end of 2021.
Ahmed, 46, raised $612,716 during 2021, spent $191,677 and ended the year with $421,039 cash in hand.
Faheem, 66, raised $12,088 in 2021, spent $6,917 and ended the year with $5,171 in hand.
Congressional candidates must file quarterly financial reports with the Federal Election Commission once their campaigns collect or spend at least $5,000. Year-end reports covering Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 were due by Monday night. They can be viewed at fec.gov.
While Ahmed embraces the term progressive, Faheem describes himself as a centrist Democrat, but one who sees the three-term Krishnamoorthi as being to the right of him.
First elected in 2016, Krishnamoorthi became a visible opponent of many policies of former President Donald Trump, was a prominent figure in the House impeachment inquiry hearings of 2019, and advocated for the inclusion of several provisions in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act stimulus package early in the pandemic, including loans for small businesses.
Though its borders are shifting significantly for the 2022 elections, the 8th District will remain roughly centered in Schaumburg and include areas of northwest Cook, northeast DuPage and northeast Kane counties.
Both Faheem and Ahmed reside outside the 8th District but say they have personal and professional connections there and would live within its borders if elected. District residency isn't required to run for or serve in the House.