State of the Race

State of the Race

Democrat Kelly Mazeski, running in Illinois’s 6th Congressional District, outraised all of her primary opponents for the second quarter in a row and has twice as much cash on hand as her nearest competitor. Out of the top four candidates based on fundraising, Kelly is the only female candidate that lives in the district and has for the past 27 years. Kelly’s strong fundraising advantage, organization, deep roots in the community, and message have set the campaign on a clear path to victory to win the Democratic Primary on March 20th and ultimately beat Peter Roskam next November.

Illinois’ 6th Congressional District is a must-win for Democrats in their quest to take back the House. Clinton won the district by 7 points in 2016, and there is no path to the majority without this district.


In her first fundraising quarter, Kelly outraised all her opponents combined and had the best initial fundraising quarter by any Roskam challenger ever, including Tammy Duckworth’s first run for Congress against Roskam in 2006.

Now, Kelly has outraised her opponents again with the Chicago Tribune stating “Kelly Mazeski of Barrington Hills is leading the crowded field of Democrats in fundraising.” She has more cash-on-hand (COH) than her top three opponents combined. Kelly is running a lean campaign to get her message out to voters while limiting wasteful spending. With early voting beginning on February 8th and the primary on March 20th, Kelly’s COH advantage and low burn rate means she has the resources necessary to get her message out and win the primary.

Here’s how the primary field is shaping up for fundraising, according to reports filed at the Federal Election Commission:

Raised COH Burn Rate

Kelly’s fundraising numbers underscore her grassroots appeal and strength. She has received over 1,100 contributions with 82% of individuals donating $250 or less and 83% of her contributions coming from Illinois residents. Kelly’s fundraising numbers highlight her strength to run a sustainable grassroots fundraising effort.


During the past 5 months, Kelly’s campaign has built a grassroots movement with a volunteer team that has completed more than 500 volunteer hours, collected petition signatures in all 5 counties and 16 of the 19 townships, and knocked on doors in 3 of 5 counties. Additionally, Kelly has received endorsements from 6 local leaders (and counting) and will release an “Environmentalists for Kelly” letter later this week boasting 18 environmental leaders in Illinois who support her candidacy for Congress. Our campaign is not only raising the money to win the primary but also building a grassroots campaign that can reach voters across the district.

The Story:

Kelly made a national splash when she announced a run for Congress against Peter Roskam on the very day he voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a vote that would ultimately make Americans pay more and get less for their healthcare. She landed coverage from five Chicago TV stations, and was on the front page of the New York Times for her announcement.

Kelly’s recovery two years ago from breast cancer treatment makes her a strong, fearless advocate for the people of her district and Americans facing uncertainty about the future of the healthcare system. She has great empathy for the struggles others go through, realizing that anyone’s life and financial situation can change in an instant.

As a mother who struggled to maintain her health insurance after her diagnosis and pay for coverage for her daughter with a pre-existing condition, Kelly believes it’s time to hold our elected leaders accountable for voting to make Americans pay more and get less for their healthcare. Our community needs someone in Washington, like Kelly, who has our best interests in mind, rather than be a rubber stamp for Donald Trump’s dangerous agenda.

Kelly has served eighteen years in local government in the positions of Village Trustee for North Barrington, Vice-Chairwoman and Member of the Zoning Board of Appeals for North Barrington and currently as a Plan Commissioner for Barrington Hills. She enjoys meeting with her neighbors and finding out what issues are important to them so she can work in their best interest when voting on local matters.

She has been an advocate for environmental protection and education for nearly twenty years, volunteering for the Sierra Club and serving as Energy and Environment Outreach Coordinator for the national Obama campaign during 2007 and 2008. Mazeski currently serves on the board of the Illinois Environmental Council after being elected in 2014.

Kelly understands the challenges facing hardworking families in this district and will fight every day to represent her constituents. She will continue to make the case for her candidacy and prove her strength by continuing her strong fundraising numbers and building on her existing grassroots campaign.

NY TIMES: ‘No District Is Off the Table’: Health Vote Could Put House in Play

NY TIMES: ‘No District Is Off the Table’: Health Vote Could Put House in Play

WASHINGTON — In a suburban Chicago district, Kelly Mazeski, a breast cancer survivor, used the day of the vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act to announce her House candidacy, vowing to make Representative Peter Roskam pay for his vote “to make Americans pay more and get less for their health care.”

In western New York, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul has stirred talk of a congressional race with her slashing criticism of Representative Chris Collins, who rallied fellow Republicans to vote for the health measure, then conceded in a national television interview that he had not read the bill.

And in suburban Philadelphia, Chrissy Houlahan, an Air Force veteran challenging Representative Ryan A. Costello, said she would make Mr. Costello’s decision to support the bill in committee, before opposing it on the floor, a central issue.

It is far too early to determine whether 2018 will bring a political wave, but the House’s approval of a deeply unpopular health care bill on Thursday has handed Democrats a potent line of attack for the midterm elections. While Republicans believe that fulfilling a seven-year promise on health care will energize their base next year, Democrats are anticipating a backlash that may put in jeopardy a Republican House majority that once seemed unshakable.

Democrats are recruiting challengers aggressively, even in conservative-leaning districts, importuning an eclectic group of could-be candidates that includes a Minnesota gelato baron, a former candidate for governor of Kansas and the mayor of Syracuse.


DAILY HERALD: Democrat joins field challenging Roskam; seizes on health vote

DAILY HERALD: Democrat joins field challenging Roskam; seizes on health vote

Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam’s vote to repeal Obamacare is propelling a Barrington Hills plan commissioner to challenge him in the 2018 election.

Democrat Kelly Mazeski declared her candidacy Thursday as the U.S. House voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, in favor of a controversial GOP replacement.

She joins a number of Democrats who are challenging Roskam, among them former Naperville School District 203 board member Suzyn Price, congressional aide Carole Cheney of Aurora, and his 2016 rival attorney Amanda Howland of Lake Zurich.

Mazeski, who survived breast cancer, criticized the Wheaton Republican for supporting the American Health Care Act that GOP leaders are spearheading, saying it would mean skyrocketing health insurance for Americans age 50 to 64.

“It’s time the people of Illinois’ 6th District hold Peter Roskam accountable for voting to make Americans pay more and get less for their health care,” Mazeski said in a statement.

“The Affordable Care Act had become weak and fragile. It pushed a lot of people out of the health-care market,” Roskam, of Wheaton, said in explaining his vote.

Roskam has easily batted away opponents in the 6th District since a tough election fight and narrow victory over Sen. Tammy Duckworth in 2006. But his seat has been targeted by the Democratic National Committee in 2018 and there’s been pushback in the form of protests from voters who say he’s out of touch.


WLS-TV: Dem. Kelly Mazeski challenging Roskam with healthcare focus

WLS-TV: Dem. Kelly Mazeski challenging Roskam with healthcare focus

CHICAGO (WLS) — Healthcare will be a hotly debated subject in Illinois’s 6th Congressional District where U.S. Representative Peter Roskam was re-elected.

Democrats are planning a strong challenge to his re-election.

One of the challengers is a cancer survivor.

“If you told me I would be standing here running for Congress, I wouldn’t believe it,” said Democrat Kelly Mazeski.

But Mazeski is believing it now. The 57-year-old mother of two is determined to win the Democratic primary in the 6th Congressional District and take on incumbent Roskam.

“This is personal for me in this race,” said Mazeski. “He is out of touch, been in this too long, he doesn’t know what it’s like for American’s to walk this walk.”

When it comes to navigating health insurance, Mazeski said she has walked the walk. As a cancer survivor who once lost her health insurance and as a mother of a daughter with a rare medical condition, Mazeski is basing her campaign on the fight to keep the Affordable Care Act. She said voters must hold Roskam accountable for the vote he took Thursday to repeal the ACA.

“I couldn’t ask for a more critical time to launch my campaign when so much is at stake with people with pre-existing conditions,” Mazeski said.

The 6th District covers parts of five counties. Roskam’s seat is one the Democratic Party believes it can win, and resources from both parties are likely to pour in. Thursday, Mazeski tried to gain support from a group called the Brown Bag Progressives. The group is made up of mostly women who said they are determined to elect a Democrat who has what it takes to beat Roskam in a politically diverse district

“Women are very important in this district, it’s a well-educated district and women are ready to go,” said Sue Walton of Brown Bag Progressive.

“I think this election and current administration has really woken people up and made them think it starts at the electoral base,” said Gail Vandale of Brown Bag Progressive.

Mazeski is one of several Democrats planning to challenge Roskam. Her political experience includes serving as a village trustee in North Barrington and serving on zoning and plan boards. She also volunteered for the Obama campaign and worked for former Congresswoman Melissa Bean.