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Hultgren has best financial quarter, but still lagging behind Foster
By James Fuller | Daily Herald Staff

Congressman Bill Foster

 

State Sen. Randy Hultgren

 

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Published: 4/22/2010 2:36 PM | Updated: 4/22/2010 2:36 PM

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Now that he's the only Republican candidate in the race, Randy Hultgren had his best fundraising quarter so far. But he'll have to pick up steam to match war chests with 14th Congressional District incumbent Democrat Bill Foster.

Latest numbers show Hultgren raised $281,000 in the period from Jan. 14 to March 31. That brings his contributions-to-date total to nearly $470,000.

Foster raised about $355,000 in the same period, bringing his contribution total to more than $1.8 million.

"Given that (State) Sen. Hultgren rode the wave of Tea Party support and captured national attention after defeating Ethan Hastert in the primary, we certainly expected Hultgren to have raised more this quarter," Nick Daggers, Foster's Campaign Finance Director, said in a written statement. "His modest cash-on-hand certainly puts him out of the top tier of Republican challengers, and raises questions to potential donors about his ability to mount a serious campaign."

Hultgren has about $109,000 on hand compared to Foster's $1.27 million. But there may be reason for optimism in the Hultgren camp. The next period will be the first Hultgren doesn't have to compete - at least part of the way - with former Republican challenger Hastert for conservative dollars. Hastert raised nearly $624,000 during his time in the race. Hultgren is also seeing more active support from the Republican Party organization. National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions recently did an event for Hultgren over the Easter recess.

Hultgren Campaign Spokesman John Cooney said the campaign is very comfortable with the amount of money it's raised so far.

"We will need to continue building upon the momentum we have," Cooney said in an e-mail interview. "However, the total contributions to the top two Republican candidates in the February primary eclipsed Bill Foster's totals for the same period and demonstrated the liberal incumbent's weakness as he seeks to simultaneously fund his 2010 campaign and pay himself back for the loans he made to self-fund his 2008 campaign."