With Election Day a little over four months away, State Representative Andrew Chesney is fundraising for his re-election campaign.
Representative Chesney’s fundraising efforts come even as he will not face a Democratic opponent; no Democrats filed to challenge him. He still faces the possibility of running against an Independent candidate for his seat in the General Assembly, which is Illinois’ equivalent of the US House of Representatives.
Rep. Chesney’s campaign committee reported having $17,747.77 in cash on hand at the end of March. His committee fundraised $7,600 in the first quarter of 2020 and spent nearly $17,000. In recent days, Chesney released a fundraising letter to his constituents in northwest Illinois.
The letter asked constituents to contribute money to his re-election campaign, suggesting amounts ranging from $25 to $500. The Freeport-based Republican expressed his support for conservative policies, told constituents that he “backs the blue” while “Democrats bash the police”, and said that he will “always have [President Trump’s] back”.
Fundraising letters are a common technique of political campaigns; they can attract small-dollar donors who may not otherwise donate to political candidates. Historically, Chesney has not relied on small-dollar donations. Since the Chesney for Illinois campaign committee was started in 2017, it has received over $124,000 from political groups associated with the Illinois Republican party. Chesney has also received nearly $11,000 from John Zajicek, a Freeport-based property manager, and nearly $13,000 from a group named Realtor PAC. At least 13 other donors have given over $1,000 to the campaign fund.
In the 2018 election cycle, Rep. Chesney received $130,000 from his father, Steven Chesney. Rep. Chesney also received $11,100 from Seaga Manufacturing, a Freeport-based company which is run by his father. Rep. Chesney has also donated nearly $25,000 of his own money to his campaign.
The Voice emailed the Chesney campaign about his fundraising plans for the 2020 campaign. As of press time, the campaign had not responded.