Politics

GOP-Held Illinois District Pounded with Outside Money as Election Nears

Six-term incumbent Roskam facing Democratic environmental entrepreneur Sean Casten

Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., faces Democrat Sean Casten in Illinois’ 6th District on Nov. 6. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Outside groups are descending on Illinois’ 6th District just weeks before the midterm elections — and bringing their money with them —  as six-term GOP Rep. Peter Roskam tries to stave off a bid from Democratic environmental entrepreneur Sean Casten.

The Chicago Tribune first reported these figures.

The independent spending arm of the environmentalist League of Conservation Voters political action group is dropping $291,000 to run negative advertisements against Roskam on digital platforms throughout the district.

Naral Pro-Choice America, another national liberal organization, will shell out $148,000 over the coming weeks on digital advertising opposing the incumbent. The group is also mobilizing its supporters this weekend to canvass for Casten.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which has already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars supporting Casten, is pouring another $109,000 into the district against Roskam.

But Democratic and progressive groups aren’t the only ones spending big in the swing district, which Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates Tilts Democratic.

The independent expenditure arm of the Koch brothers-backed group Americans for Prosperity is injecting $55,700 into the district to support Roskam with advertising and canvassing.

And the House GOP’s campaign committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, is adding a cool $1.5 million to its budget for the district over the next several weeks, Roskam told the Tribune.

Roskam’s campaign and the NRCC shared the $687,500 bill to run an ad on TV linking Casten to Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan as the state government there languishes in chronic debt and underfunded programming.

Democrats have long had their eyes on the suburban 6th District as a potential crossover district this cycle after Hillary Clinton cruised past Trump there by 7 points in 2016.

Roskam easily defeated his Democratic opponent, Amanda Howland, by 18 points last cycle.

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