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WASHINGTON — Incumbent Reps. Rodney Davis and John Shimkus are starting the 2018 election cycle with more money on hand than most of their Illinois congressional colleagues.

And the vast majority of their campaign contributions continue to come from political action committees.

Shimkus, the 11-term Republican congressman from Collinsville, already has more than $1 million in his campaign fund. That ranks fifth among Illinois' 18 members of Congress, behind Reps. Bill Foster, D-Geneva ($2.1 million); Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro ($1.69 million); Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon ($1.53 million); and Bill Lipinski, D-Western Springs ($1.24 million).

Two years ago at this time, Shimkus had $1.1 mil- lion in his campaign fund, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Davis, the three-term Republican from Taylorville, reported nearly $580,000 on hand as of March 31. At the same point in the 2016 election cycle, Davis had $417,772 on hand.

Davis' only announced Democratic opponent in 2018, Dr. David Gill of Bloomington, had about $3,500 in his campaign fund on March 31.

Davis, whose 13th Congressional District includes Champaign-Urbana and extends southwest through Decatur, Springfield and parts of Edwardsville and Collinsville, reported that about 72 percent of all of his campaign contributions in the first quarter of 2017 came from political action committees.

Of the $327,853 Davis' campaign collected in the January-March period, $237,000 came from PACs.

Davis' campaign got $90,653 from individuals, $72,850 of which were itemized.

Among the biggest PAC contributors to Davis' Rodney for Congress campaign fund were groups and associations that do business with the two major committees he sits on: Agriculture and Transportation & Infrastructure.

Davis got $10,000 each from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, Anheuser Busch Companies, Deere & Company and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

He got $7,500 from the Air Line Pilots Association.

Davis' campaign received $6,000 each from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and the Growth Energy PAC, which promotes ethanol production.

It got $5,000 each from Caterpillar; Archer Daniels Midland; the National Peanut Buying Points Association; Oldcastle Materials Inc.; which is the top asphalt producer in the U.S.; the International Franchise Association; Croplife America, a trade group for pesticide manufacturers; the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association; the Chemical Producers and Distributors Association; the Netjet Association; the International Union of Operating Engineers; and the FAA Managers Association.

Davis also got $5,000 donations from leadership PACS run by Shimkus and Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif.

Shimkus, whose 15th Congressional District includes Danville, Rantoul, Tuscola, Charleston-Mattoon and much of eastern and southern Illinois, reported that about 92 percent of all of campaign contributions in the first quarter were from PACs. Of the $290,650 he received, $268,000 came from PACs.

Shimkus is the senior member of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has oversight of not only energy issues but health care, interstate and foreign commerce, telecommunications, consumer protection, and food and drug safety.

Shimkus' biggest campaign contributors included $10,000 each from the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, John Deere and Honeywell International.

Shimkus' campaign fund also got $5,000 each from pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Abbvie, Ford Motor Co., Marathon Petroleum, the Action Committee for Rural Electrification, the Nuclear Energy Institute, Charter Communications, Comcast, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the International Union of Operating Engineers, Caterpillar, the National Association of Chemical Distributors, the Illinois Corn Growers Association and the law firm Akerman LLP.


Tom Kacich is a columnist and the author of Tom's Mailbag at The News-Gazette. His column appears Sundays. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@tkacich).