Will Catalina Lauf’s sizzle be enough to overcome the substance of Jerry Evans’ proven record in life and business as the two Millennials battle for the nomination?
Primary Election Day has dawned, and the Republican nomination for the 11th Congressional District comes down to Woodstock’s Catalina Lauf’s “sizzle” versus Warrenville’s Jerry Evans’ “steak” or substance. With final sets of financials and all marketing, including mailings, texts and digital campaigning spends to date, the nomination clearly a contest between Lauf and Evans.
Final FEC reporting, including funds collected by candidates post June 8 from donations of at least $1,000 include:
In addition, Jerry Evans-aligned super PAC, the Conservatives for a Better America, has kicked-in an additional spend of over $50K to support Evans’ campaign through mailers, texts and digital marketing, bringing Evans’ spend to $200K.
UPDATE 6/28/22 10:06AM CDT: Latest super PAC independent expenditure posted election day mid-morning:
Will that be enough to offset the the over half million spent by Lauf’s campaign since the first of the year since moving her campaign to the IL-11? Neither candidate purchased TV advertising through commercials on either broadcast or cable TV.
Lauf’s endorsements are all out-of-state including six members of the current Congress, plus the Club for Growth. Evans’ endorsements include pro-life groups including McHenry County GoPAC, plus elected/former elected leaders all over the district including McHenry County Board Chairman Mike Buehler (R, Crystal Lake), former state Representative Jeanne Ives (R, Wheaton) and former Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Bob Thomas, and last night, A.B.A.T.E. Leader Chris Hansen (who backed Catalina Lauf two years ago).
While Lauf enters Primary Election Day as the frontrunner, it was not enough of a lead to convince former President Donald Trump and his people to endorse Lauf’s campaign. In addition to Congresswoman Mary Miller’s (R, IL-15) reelection and state Senator Darren Bailey’s (R, Xenia) gubernatorial bid, the only other Illinois Republicans Trump endorsed this past weekend were incumbent Congressmen Mike Bost (R, IL-12) and Darin LaHood (R, IL-16).
With Lauf and Evans fighting it out for the nomination, Mark Carroll (R, North Aurora) and Susan Hathaway-Altman (R, unincorporated Geneva) will battle it out for 3rd place, based on campaign fundraising and spending.
To McHenry County Blog‘s knowledge, Carroll did not send any mailings and had a limited radio ad buy. No media, including digital, was spent to advance Carroll’s message on a budget of under $50,000 where six-figures spends by Lauf and Evans will prove to separate the frontrunners from the rest of the pack.
Altman’s campaign launched a small media buy, both digital and TV, but her total spend, as she told WIND’s Dan Proft last Wednesday was self-funding of $20,000, which is the classic case of running for Congress on a county board campaign budget.
In spite of Altman’s spend, being endorsed by the Chicago Tribune, and having solid debate performances including at Sun City Huntley, where she used God’s word to cut deep against Lauf causing the frontrunner to become unhinged in a testy exchange with Carroll plus a solid interview last week on Morning Answer, and Altman could best Carroll.
Carroll, for his part, built an impressive coalition of support through endorsements from establishment Republicans including state Representatives Jeff Keicher and Keith Wheeler and conservatives including Illinois Federation Right-to-Life and Illinois Family Action, and other local Republican and municipal leaders. Carroll even visited Mar a Lago and met former President Trump at the Mary Miller fundraiser at the end of April.
The primary campaign for the Republican nomination in IL-11 is over except election day get-out-the-vote and the actual voting. Then at 7PM, polls close, and all await the returns from the 8 counties in the IL-11.
Whether it’s a close race (enough to keep Trump from making an endorsement pre-primary) or Lauf runs away with it given her over 2-1 spending advantage in 2022, remains to be seen but will be known early Tuesday night after polls close.
Cassandra Tanner Miller (R, Elgin) and Andrea Heeg (R, unincorporated Geneva) are also running.