Callahan 'right on target' with fundraising goals despite trailing Schock
Republican Aaron Schock raised nearly three times as much as Democrat Colleen Callahan in the first few months of 2008, but Callahan’s campaign points out that she got a late start and is "right on target" with fundraising goals.
Schock, of Peoria, and Callahan, of Kickapoo, are the major-party candidates to succeed U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Peoria, as the holder of Illinois’ 18th District Congressional seat.
Sheldon Schafer of Peoria also is running as the Green Party’s candidate. He has not yet filed a campaign finance report with the Federal Election Commission.
Schock’s campaign fund collected almost $302,000 during the latest reporting period, which covers Jan. 17 to March 31. He has raised about $1.1 million during the entire election cycle so far.
He spent about $356,000 during the 2 ½ month period ending March 31, and has spent about $935,000 on the campaign to date. As of March 31, Schock had about $188,000 on hand.
Schock spent the biggest chunk of money, about $86,000, to pay Virginia-based Wilson Grand for media advertising.
"The numbers speak for themselves," said Schock campaign manager Steve Shearer. "It tells us that Aaron excites voters and he excites contributors. He’s raising enough money to get his message out."
Callahan’s campaign fund took in $137,945, including a $50,000 loan from the candidate, during the reporting period. She spent a little more than $30,000 and still had nearly $108,000 on hand at the end of the reporting period.
"I think we’re right on target for where we need to be. You know, we didn’t officially announce (Callahan’s candidacy) until March 10," said Callahan campaign manager Leigh Ann Vanausdoll.
Callahan made a $50,000 loan to her campaign to jump-start it, Vanausdoll said, adding that the campaign hopes to raise $1.5 million to $2 million before the Nov. 4 election.
Shearer said Schock has a couple of "very sizeable" fundraisers coming up next week in Peoria and Springfield. The headliners at both events will be the retiring LaHood, R-Peoria, and LaHood’s predecessor, former U.S. Rep. Bob Michel, R-Peoria.
Schock’s biggest campaign contributors included the Georgia-based United Parcel Service political action committee, which gave $5,000 in March and has donated $10,000 total to his campaign; the Washington, D.C.,-based Rely on Your Beliefs Fund and the Virginia-based National Beer Wholesalers Association, each of which gave $5,000.
More than $12,000 of Callahan’s money was raised online. On her Web site, contributors can use their credit card to give money to her campaign through ActBlue, which describes itself as "the online clearinghouse for Democratic action."
Callahan worked in broadcasting for more than 30 years, mostly covering and commenting on agribusiness issues at WMBD-AM 1470 in Peoria. She now runs a communications firm, Colleen Callahan Communications.
Contributors to her political campaign included people who work in agriculture and broadcasting. For example, $200 came from Robert Easter, dean of the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, and $250 came from Kenneth Root of Norwalk, Iowa, who is an agricultural news broadcaster.
The campaign funds of two Illinois Senate Democrats, David Koehler of Peoria and John Sullivan of Rushville, also chipped in, giving $1,000 and $500, respectively, to Callahan.
Callahan is planning fundraisers in Springfield and Washington, D.C., Vanausdoll said.
Adriana Colindres can be reached at (217) 782-6292 or email@example.com.