Every Democratic nominee running in a competitive Illinois House district was invited to participate in a party-organized fundraiser held Friday at Chicago's Wrigley Field — except for emergency room physician David Gill.
Gill's exclusion from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event signals that House Democrats have yet to commit to putting resources behind his bid for the open 13th district.
The DCCC listed five candidates on the invitation to the high-dollar fundraiser, which was headlined by Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), whose district includes Wrigley Field. Among the nominees invited were Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth, former Rep. Bill Foster, businessman Brad Schneider, former East Moline Alderwoman Cheri Bustos and retired Major General Bill Enyart. Democrats view the House districts where these candidates are running as some of their best pickup opportunities for November.
The fundraiser comes as Gill's GOP opponent, Rodney Davis, announced that he raised $440,000 in six weeks. Local Republican officials selected Davis as their party's nominee after Rep. Timothy Johnson (R) suddenly retired less than a month after winning the primary.
Democrats noted the fundraiser is for candidates in the DCCC's Red to Blue program, which helps and advises the party's most promising House candidates. Gill did not made the cut.
Local Democratic officials supported Gill's opponent in the primary, but the emergency room doctor squeaked out a victory by a couple of hundred votes. Since then, Democrats have been evaluating Gill's campaign.
"We are excited about Illinois Red to Blue candidates and about expanding pickup opportunities in competitive districts like Illinois 13, where Dr. David Gill is building a strong, grass-roots campaign to take on career political hack Rodney Davis with all his Springfield and Washington baggage," DCCC spokeswoman Haley Morris said.
Democrats have expressed some support for Gill. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) backed him after the primary, and Quigley helped him raise money recently at another event.