At last evening’s Libertyville Township Republicans regular monthly meeting at Lake Country Republican Headquarters, State Representative Beth Coulson (R-Glenview) came to introduce herself and talk about her campaign to succeed five-term Congressman Mark Kirk, who is running for U.S. Senate. Coulson currently represents the 17th State Legislative District (which comprises all or parts of Glenview, Wilmette, Skokie and other areas), so not all that many people in the Libertyville area were especially familiar with Coulson.
In addition to her deep legislative experience, she touted her fiscal acumen and expertise in health care issues, among other things. She also provided a long list of endorsements from political figures. Notably, Congressman Kirk did not appear on the endorsement list, but he has stated clearly that he is not ready to issue any endorsements in the 10th District primary (and probably won’t endorse at all, if I guess correctly).
Coulson was asked pointedly about her fundraising and whether she expected to be competitive in the crowded GOP primary field (which includes at least two candidates, Bob Dold and Dick Green, who have reported banking in excess of $250,000 cash for Q3 fundraising).
Coulson was not ready to release any firm Q3 fundraising totals last night, but did state that she had raised in excess of $180,000 in the “month” that she had been actively raising money. She also noted that her campaign contributions were coming in large part from hundreds of individual donors, which she suggested showed her broad base of support. Coulson acknowledged that some of that $180,000 was her own money, but declined to state specifically how much.
Fellow GOP candidates and businessmen Bob Dold and Dick Green have claimed specific sums raised in Q3: Dold claims to have raised over $250,000 and Dick Green claiming $295,000 (but with $220,000 coming from his own pocket). The remaining contender, Winnetka attorney Bill Cadigan, has not yet publicly claimed any specific fundraising totals.
On the Dem side, State Rep. Julie Hamos claimed to have raised $545,000, but three-time 10th District candidate (and need we remind anybody, two-time loser) Dan Seals has not yet released his Q3 numbers, as far as I know, and also no word from Highland Park attorney Elliot Richardson.
The deadline for reporting Q3 campaign contributions is this Thursday, October 15, 2009.
UPDATED 1:45 pm.: I received this press release from the Coulson campaign just now:
Coulson Builds Momentum, Secures Key Endorsements
Survey indicates broad GOP support for Coulson
Northbrook, IL - 10th Congressional district Republican primary voters know Elizabeth Coulson and they like Elizabeth Coulson. According to a survey of 300 likely GOP primary voters, Coulson has an outstanding 8:1 favorable to unfavorable rating in her legislative district and a 5:1 favorable to unfavorable rating across the entire Congressional district.
"I am really proud of the support I have in the community I have represented for the past 13 years," said Coulson. "The views of those who have elected me to serve their interests seven times serve as the best indicator of both the job I've done and the job I will do in Congress."
The strong support Coulson has earned from her community over the past 13 years has galvanized Republican leaders locally and across Illinois to back Coulson's Congressional bid. They see Coulson as the GOP's best chance to hold Mark Kirk's congressional seat.
"I served with Beth in the Illinois House before coming to Congress and know her to be a principled, fair-minded person with a proven track record of getting things done" said Aaron Schock, Illinois 18th District Congressman. Beth stands out as one of Illinois' exceptional legislators. Her ability to work with both sides of the aisle demonstrates her level of commitment to moving forward and focusing on solutions, not differences. She is exactly who we need to represent the 10th District."
In addition to Schock, Coulson has received the backing of Congressmen John Shimkus, Tim Johnson and Judy Biggert. Coulson has also been endorsed by some two dozen current and former state legislators who know her and appreciate the leadership she has provided on the range of critical issues from property tax relief to reducing the cost of prescription drugs to opening new markets for Illinois businesses.
Importantly, Coulson's backing includes both conservatives and moderates. "Those supporting me recognize the ability I have demonstrated to bring our party together around common-sense fiscal policies that directly impact people's quality of life," said Coulson.
For the most recent filing period, Coulson raised approximately $180,000 from hundreds of in-district donors in just over a month since announcing her candidacy.
"I'm the only candidate in this race with a proven ability to put together the resources needed to defeat well-funded Democrats," said Coulson. "Our community has rallied to help me in the previous seven elections that we have won. We're going to get it done together again this time."
UPDATED x2: I confirmed with the Coulson campaign that Coulson raised $130,000 and self-funded $50,000. That's more than Dold (who chipped in $10,000) but way less than Green ($220,000).