Records Show Republican Esther Joy King Has Towering Financial Advantage in Open Seat for Illinois’ 17th Congressional District

FEC records show that Republican Esther Joy King has a financial advantage over the entire field for Illinois’ 17th Congressional District.

U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) announced her retirement, making IL-17 an open-seat race.

King has raised $1,620,585.54 for the 2022 cycle and has $1,072,285.69 on hand. Her nearest opponent on either the Democrat or Republican side did not raise over $115,000 or possess more than $76,000 cash on hand as of the December 31, 2021 deadline. King currently has no significant opposition in the GOP primary.

King was the GOP nominee for the IL-17 in the 2020 election, losing to outgoing Bustos by four percentage points.

King’s website describes her as “a battle-ready leader with a heart to serve. Esther’s training as a lawyer and captain in the Army Reserve makes her ready to get things done for us in Congress, starting on day one.”

Her parents were missionaries on the U.S.-Mexico border in Juarez.

“It was growing up in this life of ministry that Esther learned the values of faith, family, and tireless sacrifice for others,” King’s website says.

King spent time in Afghanistan serving as an aid worker for women’s rights. During the Biden military withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, King’s campaign says she “fought to help dozens of the young girls she once taught escape the brutal Taliban regime.”

She earned a JD and Masters of Law in Taxation at Northwestern School of Law. King started at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago and “later had the opportunity to serve the State of Illinois in the Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Technology. These experiences motivate Esther to seek out common-sense solutions for the workers and small business owners of Illinois.”

King is a member of the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps and practices real estate law in Illinois.

One of King’s priorities is creating American jobs.

She says, “A strong, robust economy is vital to our long-term health and vitality as a nation. That is why we must commit to fighting for business and employment opportunities for every individual in our district. Each person in our nation deserves a job to provide for his or her well-being and have the dollars to create the life they want.”

Other priorities to King include education, access to healthcare and patient’s rights, border security, infrastructure, paying down the national debt, national security, workers’ training, supporting the police, defending the unborn, the Second Amendment, and the State of Israel.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is targeting the seat. King is listed as participating in their Young Guns candidate program, which helps the National Republican Congressional Committee determine candidate progress and how to best allocate resources for the fall. King has attained the committee’s highest rank, Young Gun.

The primary is scheduled to take place on June 28.

The Cook Political Report gives the race a “tossup” rating. Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight gives IL-17 a D+4 partisan rating.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected] Follow Aaron on GETTR.
Photo “Esther Joy King” by Esther For Congress. Background Photo “United States Capitol” by David Maiolo. CC BY-SA 3.0.

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