A top candidate to replace disgraced former Rep. Aaron Schock raised $210,000 since the Illinois Republican announced his plans to resign , CQ Roll Call has learned. The haul solidifies state Sen. Darin LaHood as a front-runner in the special election to replace Schock in the 18th District — a safe GOP seat located in and around Peoria, Ill.
LaHood is the son of former Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., who held this seat for more than a decade until 2009 — when he left Congress to serve as transportation secretary to President Barack Obama.
LaHood has the tacit backing of the entirety of the state's GOP congressional delegation, including Sen. Mark S. Kirk. The eight Republicans in the delegation are hosting a fundraiser for LaHood on April 21 in the District of Columbia, one day after the qualifying period for the special election closes , according to an invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call.
Gov. Bruce Rauner set the dates for the special election Monday. But the dates are likely to change, as Illinois special election law does not align with the federal timeline to mail overseas absentee ballots for military service members.
While the date for the special remains unclear , Rauner's office said a special election primary is slated for late June or early July.
The GOP primary is almost certain to determine Schock's successor. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the 18th district by a 23-point margin in 2012.
The quarter ended March 31, and candidates have until April 15 to report their fundraising to the Federal Election Commission.
Related: Familiar Name Launches Bid to Succeed Aaron Schock Special Election Dates Set to Replace Aaron Schock The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.