UPDATE 4/15/22 12:59PM CDT: Mark Carroll’s campaign report since entering campaign in mid-February:
- Q122 Receipts: $18,365
- Q122 Disbursed: $15,188
- CASH-ON-HAND: $3,178
UPDATE 4/15/22 12:53PM CDT: Cassandra Tanner Miller campaign under water:
- Q122 Receipts: $2,525
- Q122 Disbursed: $600
- CASH-ON-HAND: $1,926
- Q122 Debts Owed: 48,302.18
CTM’s campaign is over.
UPDATE 4/15/22 12:20PM CDT: Catalina Lauf’s first quarter fundraising worse then I thought it would be:
- Q122 Receipts: $156,144
- Q122 Disbursed: $264,879
- CASH-ON-HAND: $148,241
Lauf’s quarterly burn rate: 169%
UPDATE 4/14/22 4:40PM CDT: Jerry Evans releases first quarter fundraising totals, raising $113,185.20 and with $83,806.96 cash on hand.
UPDATE 4/13/22 3:46PM CDT: Congressman Bill Foster (D, Naperville) in a press release said his IL-11 campaign raised over $620K in the first quarter of 2022, and had $4.59 million cash-on-hand.
Andrea Heeg’s (R, unincorporated Geneva) campaign treasurer notified the FEC Heeg’s campaign committee had not raised more than $5K at end of last month, and would not be filing a quarterly report.
UPDATE 4/9/22 10:22AM CDT: Through Friday, none of the IL-11 Republican candidates had submitted their 1st quarter filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) one week in advance of the April 15 deadline.
Additionally, none of the 6 Republican candidates, or incumbent Congressman Bill Foster (D, Naperville), had announced their numbers prior to submitting their FEC quarterlies.
Usually when a candidate has a spectacular fundraising quarter, it’s usually followed up with a press release revealing their total numbers, even before the actual FEC report is submitted.
This coming week, April 11-13, three of the 6 Republican candidates will be interviewed live on Instagram by the We Are Freedom Illinois grassroots group.
The schedule, per the accompanying meme is:
- Monday, April 11, 7:30PM CDT, North Aurora Village Trustee Mark Carroll
- Tuesday, April 12, 8:30PM CDT, Catalina Lauf (R, Woodstock)
- Wednesday, April 13, 7:30PM CDT, Jerry Evans (R, Warrenville)
Here is the group’s Instagram posting announcing the events:
“If you live in the IL 11th Congressional district this is a fantastic opportunity to get to know three of your republican candidates. Please submit questions for a specific candidate or all three in the comments, email them or ask them live.”
Per the Instagram post, the email address to submit questions is: Freedom.firstname.lastname@example.org
McHenry County Blog will be watching all of the IL-11 interviews with interest, and how the candidates do on their respective night will be factored-in to the next set of rankings of candidates in IL-11 next weekend.
From the desk of John Lopez:
UPDATE 4/6/22 10:48PM CDT: Today’s game changer of the endorsement of Jerry Evans (R, Warrenville) by former state Representative Jeanne Ives (R, Wheaton) will shake up the IL-11 Republican rankings. I plan to issue new rankings shortly after April 15, once all FEC Q122 reports have been filed.
The 6-candidate field competing for the Republican nomination for the 11th Congressional District includes four candidates with a realistic shot at competing for and winning the primary on June 28.
As of the beginning of April, there are less than 90 days for all the candidates to take their messages to the 11th District voters. No candidate has locked up and can go on cruise control as was witnessed by McHenry County voters in the 7-candidate Republican primary field in 2020 in the old IL-14, when then-state Senator Jim Oberweis’ decades of name ID and deep pockets delivered a win in the crowded field with a plurality of just under 26% of the primary vote.
Oberweis has taken a pass on running for anything in 2022, so primary voters will have to choose from among 6 candidates to compete with Congressman Bill Foster (D, Naperville) in the race both the national Democrats and the national Republicans have said is a “targeted” (Republican) or “vulnerable” (Democrats) district.
To-date, none of the national committees or super PACs have purchased TV advertising time in the “Likely Democrat” rated 11th District. Media buys for the fall can change at any time, but thus far, the national focus backed up with outside campaign spending in Illinois is in the 17th District.
Immediate dates to watch for in the 11th District primary include the following:
- By April 15, candidates must file 1st Quarter Federal Election Commission (FEC) Campaign Disclosure reports for campaign receipts and disbursements from January 1, through March 31, 2022. After the first quarter report, the next campaign report will be published by mid-June, the Pre-primary report
- By May 16, candidate must file their Financial Disclosure statements with the U.S. House clerk in compliance with the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended, with only limited ability to file an extension given the date of the primary
- May 19, first day vote-by-mail (VBM) ballots will hit-the-street for voting by mail. The 8 local election authorities began accepting applications for VBM ballots last week
With balloting beginning on May 19, the candidates should have had at least two mailers and 1 to 2 TV commercials published by then (Oberweis’ coverage in IL-14 by the start of early voting in 2020 helped him secure a large enough lead which he did not lose).
From my own observations including feedback shared by multiple friends of McHenry County Blog, here is the rankings of the 6 Republican candidates competing for IL-11’s Republican nomination.
These rankings will likely change as additional information is published, or the candidates reach out to voters through grassroots campaigning, mailers and TV commercial advertising.
#1: Catalina Lauf of Woodstock, the nominal frontrunner
Lauf being atop the Republican field in IL-11 is no surprise, given her 3rd place finish in the IL-14 primary breaking 20% of the primary vote and within 6 percentage points of primary winner Oberweis in 2020.
With Lauf’s entry into the IL-16 primary in late February of 2021, she got a lot of attention given Congressman Adam Kinzinger’s (R, Channahon) hostility to President Trump in early January which continues to this day.
Due to redistricting, Kinzinger is gone, and Lauf, in early December, changed her target to Democrat Foster.
While Lauf begins the campaign with a degree of name ID, her name ID is limited within the new IL-11, according to an early poll I learned results from late last year I am not at liberty to share in any detail.
One thing is certain, Lauf’s presence as a candidate did not deter 6-8 candidates from at least considering running in the IL-11, though 5 competitors did file and stay on the ballot.
While starting her political career post-college in 2018 when she worked as a field director for then-Governor Bruce Rauner’s reelection campaign bid at the beginning of that year, Lauf has a record in politics which includes positives and negatives. Some of the negative highlights include:
- Lack of life experiences (military service, marriage, parenthood, business career in her own name, lack of real property ownership in her name) which one would expect of a woman in her late 20s but not necessarily a representative in Congress
- Excessively high burn rate while raising over $1 million in cash in 2021, Lauf burned through over 76 cents of every dollar raised, leaving her with just under $256K at end of 2021, bulk of disbursements paid to out-of-state consultants
- Lack of a record of tangible support for political candidates/causes within Illinois
- Her Defense of Freedom PAC through 2021, had given no financial contributions to an Illinois candidate or Illinois political cause
- Took her over 4 months after her loss to Jim Oberweis in 2020 to publicly endorse him for the general election, and her PAC gave no money to Oberweis’ election
- No direct involvement in the Illinois Republican Party, or any county organization during her post-college adult life
- Very challenged telling the truth and displaying integrity including
- Financial Disclosure statement submitted last August raised many questions, as revealed by McHenry County Blog here and here
- Her next Financial Disclosure statement due in mid-May should address many of the questions her first report raised last year
- Has yet to produce a reference from her work in Citizens for Rauner, the U.S. Commerce Department or any employer she’s worked for (family employers excluded) who can publicly say she is a worker one would hire for a job, let alone a seat in the United States Congress
But Lauf has her positives, too, including high profile endorsements from Congressman Burgess Owens (R, UT-04), U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R, KY) and while running for IL-16, the endorsement of Congressman Madison Cawthorn (R, NC-11). She has 8 months of experience working in the U.S. Commerce Department through the first half of 2019.
To date, Lauf has not been endorsed by an Illinois elected Republican leader or former leader. All of Lauf’s high profile endorsements are from out-of-state.
Lauf begins the last 90 days as a nominal frontrunner in IL-11, and time will tell if she can convince primary voters she’s the best choice to challenge Foster.
#2: Cassandra Tanner Miller of Elgin
With the establishment Republican support Cassandra Tanner Miller, also known as “CTM” has gained at the outset and per Capitol Fax, CTM is seen as the establishment’s alternative to Lauf in IL-11.
How much that support will be quantified will be learned in the next two weeks in her FEC quarterlies, which are due on April 15.
CTM turned 35 late last month.
The tragic story of CTM’s son’s passing is well known, and her diligent work to pass “Colton’s Law” with unanimous support in the Illinois General Assembly in 2021 proved she can get major legislation passed, while not serving in an elected body.
Additionally, CTM began her Colton’s Legacy foundation, which will be documented with metrics on her Financial Disclosure statement by mid-May.
While CTM has apparent support from establishment Republicans, her campaign has been plagued by staffing issues, as confirmed by Capitol Fax last month, but evidence was seen throughout March, including cancelling two events, including a March 24 campaign kickoff/fundraiser.
Additionally, her campaign bio has a significant gap in time between her days in college then skipping to her 2017 marriage with the Colton’s father. It is unknown what CTM was doing in the 5-7 years prior to her marriage with Colton’s father, and she must be forthcoming to account for the gap in her resume’.
But at this point, CTM is ranked #2.
#3: Jerry Evans of Warrenville
Jerry Evans, 38, is making his 2nd run for Congress and facing McHenry County voters as he was one of the 7 candidates who competed for the Republican nomination in 2020 in the old IL-14, finishing 6th.
Evans has definitely grown and improved both as a candidate and as a family man in the two years since the 2020 primary.
Jerry and his wife welcomed their 2nd son in late 2021.
Evans will be listed first on the primary ballot.
Evans’ music school which bears his name in Wheaton was challenged during the pandemic, and Evans, as the business owner of a brick-and-mortar business employed at least a dozen people at his Illinois-based business and was challenged first-hand to keep his business open during all the mandates and emergency orders of the pandemic.
Evans, as a candidate for 2022, has displayed growth, including the open and public endorsement of former Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Bob Thomas, making Evans the only candidate thus far in the IL-11 Republican primary field to be endorsed by a current/former elected official from Illinois.
Word from multiple sources, Evans had some prominent leaders making private fundraising calls for him since launching his 2022 candidacy in late January. His FEC first quarter filing will test the validity of the sources for this information.
Additionally, Evans has been making media appearances on Newsmax and Fox News, as recent as last Friday, which was something not seen in his 2020 race.
Evans, for the first time, will be filing a Financial Disclosure statement, which he did not file during his 2020 bid, which will reveal information about Evans’ earnings and assets not disclosed in his first congressional bid 2 years ago.
Evans starts ranked #3 but could rise in the rankings as his FEC and Financial Disclosure statements are filed.
#4: Mark Carroll of North Aurora
North Aurora Village Trustee Mark Carroll, who turns 48 this month, begins the final 90 days of the campaign ranked #4.
Carroll is not known by many in McHenry County, but he enters the race as the only elected official among all six candidates, having served as a North Aurora village trustee since May of 2014, and has won two elected terms since his initial appointment.
In addition to being a village trustee, Carroll served for 5 years on the North Aurora Plan Commission.
Carroll is an attorney with 20 years of experience, and all indications, Carroll is a back office transactional attorney, opposed to a trial lawyer.
Included in his resume’ is Washington D.C. experience working for the House Judiciary Committee during the time of Congressman Henry Hyde’s chairmanship in the mid to late 1990s.
Carroll’s work in DC makes him the only candidate apart from Lauf with work experience in Washington.
The married father of 3 sons, oldest being 18, had campaign staffing issues early in his campaign, which all indications show has been corrected.
Carroll’s messaging has taken a “Restore America” and “Experience Matters” themes, the latter a clear shot at all of his primary opponents, especially nominal frontrunner Lauf.
Carroll has begun aggressively scheduling events across the district, and has events in April scheduled in Naperville, North Aurora and Cary at this point in time.
He starts at #4, and he, like Evans, is poised to surge in the rankings if his campaign gains traction.
#5: Andrea Heeg of unincorporated Geneva
#6: Susan Hathaway-Altman of unincorporated Geneva
These are the two IL-11 Republican candidates I see little to no sign of competing for the nomination.
Both candidates are from the same neighborhood in central Kane County, the exclusive Mill Creek Subdivision in unincorporated Blackberry Township.
Heeg, who filed her candidacy with the FEC in January, has had over two months to launch a semblance of a campaign, outside of collecting petition signatures. She has to date, yet to launch her campaign’s website.
And Hathaway-Altman has
n’t even filed any paperwork with the FEC filed her paperwork with the FEC on Monday, April 4, after her surprise petition filing on March 14.
Unless I see something drastic from either of these two women, I have to relegate them to also-rans.
What do you think of the 11th Congressional District Republican primary field initial rankings? Are they valid? Please discuss in comments, and please keep all comments on the points raised in this article.