Candidates file reports with Federal Election Commission

Karen McDonald

Republican congressional candidate Aaron Schock raised more than $407,000 in the past three months while his Democratic opponent Colleen Callahan raised about a third of that in a race that is creeping toward the $2 million mark.

To date, Schock, a Republican state representative from Peoria, has raised about $1.5 million and has about $300,000 cash on hand while Callahan has raised about $227,000 and has $155,400 cash left to spend, according to quarterly reports filed this week with the Federal Election Commission.

But Schock’s upcoming fundraiser with President George Bush and country singer Lee Greenwood already has generated $250,000, which wasn’t included in this reporting period. Political insiders say that event is expected to gross $500,000 to $700,000.

"Our campaign is going to work very hard, as Aaron always has, to raise what it takes to be able to broadcast his unusually extensive array of accomplishments," said Schock’s campaign manager Steve Shearer.

"Like Sen. (Barack) Obama, Aaron continues to attract new donors who have never given before because of the promise Aaron has for the future."

The two are seeking the 18th Congressional seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Peoria. Green Party candidate Sheldon Schafer, vice president of education at Lakeview Museum, has not filed a campaign finance report with the FEC. He did not raise the minimum $5,000 required to file the report.

Callahan said she’s actually raised about $280,000 and Schock’s war chest doesn’t concern her. The additional dollars came in after the reporting period — which runs from April 1 through June 30 — ended.

"To know we’ve raised that amount of money and continue to raise money in such a short amount of time is gratifying," said Callahan, a longtime farm broadcaster from Kickapoo.

"Our goal is to raise as much as it’s going to take to win this seat and being out in the district and accessible and available to anyone and everyone who has questions about issues."

Schock spent about $296,000 in the second quarter and owes about $15,000 in debts. Callahan spent about $91,000 and owes herself $50,000, according to FEC reports.

Most of their expenses were to pay staff, for supplies and travel. Schock also conducted a $25,000 poll in April and Callahan conducted a poll in March that cost $15,000.

Callahan again pointed out that she entered the race just four months ago, compared to Schock, who entered the race nearly a year ago and had a jump-start on fundraising.

Five months into his race, Schock had already raised $800,000.

In the 92nd District House race, Republican Joan Krupa posted fundraising figures of $158,809 with $115,315 cash on hand, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Once Callahan’s loan to herself is subtracted from her leftover cash, she actually has less money in her 20-county congressional race ($105,413) than Krupa in her state race.

Krupa’s Democratic opponent Jehan Gordon has not yet filed her reports with the Illinois State Board of Elections. Those reports are not due until Monday.

Karen McDonald can be reached at (309) 686-3285 or