Republican Esther Joy King leading 17th Congressional District fundraising | Politics and elections

Republican candidate Esther Joy King is crushing her 17th Congressional District competition in terms of fundraising with less than three months to go until the June 28 primary election.

According to Federal Election Commission first quarter campaign finance reports, King has raised nearly $ 2.2 million, far outpacing the leading Democratic candidate, former WQAD meteorologist Eric Sorensen, who has brought in $ 312,500.

Nine candidates are vying for the seat soon to be vacated by outgoing US Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, who announced last April that she would not seek a sixth term. The general election is Nov. 8.

In addition to Sorensen, the crowded field of seven Democratic candidates who will face off in the June 28 primary are Rock Island County board member Angie Normoyle, Rockford resident and former Illinois state Rep. Litesa Wallace, Rockford Alderwoman Linda McNeely, Rockford Alderman Jonathan Logemann, Marsha Williams of Channahon and former cannabis lobbyist Jacqueline McGowan.

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King, an East Moline attorney, will compete against East Moline insurance broker Charlie Helmick in the Republican primary.

Of the $ 2.2 million in donations to King, more than $ 1.9 million come from individual donors. Among the largest donations is $ 17,400 from Jeffrey Jay, a physician and venture capitalist from Palm Beach, Florida; $ 11,600 from philanthropists Daniel and Kathy Mezzalingua of Naples, Florida; and $ 5,800 from Chicago billionaire and hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin.

First quarter reports show King spent $ 930,000 and has almost $ 1.5 million cash on hand. Of her expenditures, $ 887,000 went toward operating expenses.

This is King’s second attempt at running for Congress. She lost to Bustos in the Nov. 3, 2020 general election by 11,526 votes.

Helmick has no revenue or expenses filed with the FEC, meaning he either has not met the minimum level or he is paying for everything out of pocket. The FEC requires a candidate to file a quarterly report when their campaign exceeds $ 5,000 in either contributions received or expenditures made.

Helmick lives in East Moline and co-owns two Country Financial Insurance franchises with his wife, Shirley.

Of the seven Democratic candidates, Sorensen is leading in terms of fundraising with more than $ 313,000 in revenue coming from more than 1,050 donors with an average contribution of less than $ 165.

According to his FEC filing, Sorensen’s largest donations include $ 5,800 from Stephen Schuler, an investment manager from Oak Park; $ 5,000 from Tom Skilling, a Chicago meteorologist; and $ 1,500 from Terence Kelly, president of an investment company in Madison, Wisconsin.

Sorensen has spent $ 124,572 to date and has $ 188,000 cash on hand.

Joe Goldberg, campaign manager for Sorensen, attributed his strong fundraising to grassroots support in a news release.

“Momentum continues to grow because voters know their trusted meteorologist is the best choice to represent them in Congress,” Goldberg said.

Logemann has raised $ 257,600, of which $ 243,000 has come from individual contributions. His largest donations include $ 5,800 from Marni George of Carbondale, Co .; $ 5,800 from Joseph Alsop, a venture capitalist from Beverly, Mass .; and $ 2,900 from Justin Fern, a Rockford real estate developer.

Logemann reported $ 142,500 in expenses and $ 15,000 cash on hand.

Normoyle, who is the only candidate of the group to receive a national endorsement so far, reported $ 160,670 in contributions, of which $ 30,000 is a personal loan to her own campaign. Other donations include $ 2,900 from Jenny Molyneaux, project manager for the Quad Cities Community Foundation; $ 2,900 from Julie Corey, owner of Corey Search Group in Barrington; and $ 1,000 from Cosette Shrader, a Bettendorf, Iowa travel consultant.

Normoyle reported $ 94,900 in expenditures and $ 65,800 cash on hand.

Wallace reported $ 92,950 in first quarter contributions, with $ 85,700 coming from individual donors. Wallace donated $ 28,000 to her own campaign, making her the single largest donor.

Wallace reported $ 82,900 in expenses and $ 38,400 cash on hand.

Williams has raised $ 45,000, of which $ 5,000 was donated by Williams to her own political campaign, Friends to Elect Marsha Williams.

Williams reported $ 25,700 in expenditures and $ 42,575 cash on hand.

McGowan, of Palos Hills, is a former cannabis lobbyist and stockbroker. While living in California last year, she ran as a gubernatorial replacement candidate in case Gov. Gavin Newsom was recalled.

First quarter FEC reports show McGowan has $ 17,745 in contributions, $ 13,288 in expenditures and $ 4,500 cash on hand.

McNeely, is a Rockford Alderwoman and businesswoman who owns the Rockford accounting and tax preparation service, Bias Terry McNeely & Associates. She has not filed any campaign disclosures with the FEC, indicating she has not raised or spent at least $ 5,000.

According to the FEC, McNeely, Williams and McGowan currently have ballot objections pending against them related to a number of alleged invalid signatures and/or contested addresses on their petitions that could invalidate the minimum requirement of 400 signatures needed to remain on the ballot.


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