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Republican Esther Joy King leads 17th Congressional District fundraiser | Politics and elections

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republican candidate Esther Joy King crushes its 17th congressional district contest in terms of fundraising with less than three months until the June 28 primary election.

According to Federal Election Commission First-quarter campaign finance reports King raised nearly $2.2 million, far outpacing leading Democratic contender, former WQAD weatherman Eric Sorensenwhich grossed $312,500.

Nine candidates are vying for the seat that will soon be vacated by incumbent U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, who announced last April that she would not seek a sixth term. The general election is November 8.

In addition to Sorensen, the crowded group of seven Democratic candidates who will face off in the June 28 primary are members of the Rock Island County Board of Trustees. Angie NormoyleRockford resident and former Illinois State Representative Litesa Wallace, Rockford Alderman 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 with East Moline insurance broker Charlie Helmick in the Republican primary.

Of the $2.2 million donated to King, more than $1.9 million comes from individual donors. Among the largest donations are $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 close to $1.5 million in cash. Of its expenses, $887,000 went to operating expenses.

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

Helmick has no income or expenses filed with the FEC, which means he hasn’t met the minimum level or is paying everything out of pocket. The FEC requires a candidate to file a quarterly report when their campaign exceeds $5,000 in contributions received or expenses incurred.

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

Of the seven Democratic candidates, Sorensen leads in fundraising with more than $313,000 in revenue 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 Oak Park investment manager; $5,000 from Tom Skilling, a Chicago meteorologist; and $1,500 from Terence Kelly, president of an investment firm in Madison, Wisconsin.

Sorensen has spent $124,572 so far and has $188,000 in cash.

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

“The momentum continues to build because voters know their trusted weather forecaster is the best choice to represent them in Congress,” Goldberg said.

Logemann raised $257,600, of which $243,000 came 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 said $142,500 in expenses and $15,000 in cash.

Normoyle, who is the only candidate in the group to receive a national approval so far has declared $160,670 in contributions, of which $30,000 is a personal loan to his 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 travel consultant in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Normoyle declared $94,900 in expenses and $65,800 in cash.

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

Wallace declared $82,900 in expenses and $38,400 in cash.

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

Williams declared $25,700 in expenses and $42,575 in cash.

McGowan, of Palos Hills, is a former cannabis lobbyist and stockbroker. While living in California last year, she ran for governor replacement candidate in case Governor Gavin Newsom is recalled.

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

McNeely, is a Rockford alderwoman and businesswoman who owns Rockford’s accounting and tax preparation service, Bias Terry McNeely & Associates. She did not file any campaign statements with the FEC, indicating that she did not raise or spend at least $5,000.

According to the FEC, McNeely, Williams and McGowan currently have objections to ballot pending against them regarding a number of allegedly invalid signatures and/or disputed addresses on their petitions which may invalidate the minimum requirement of 400 signatures needed to remain on the ballot.