17th District Republican candidate Esther Joy King landed the endorsements of two prominent rising stars in the national party.
Both say King is the candidate to take on incumbent Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Moline), the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The 17th Congressional District narrowly opted for Republican Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election after decades of voting blue in presidential years.
Last week, former candidate Eugene Farrell of Roseville gave his endorsement to Galena's Bill Fawell, the 2018 Republican nominee for the race. Fawell lost state party backing after his belief in 9/11 conspiracy theories came to light.
Farrell called King an "opportunistic and overly ambitious politician" in a press release announcing his backing for Fawell.
Farrell previously claimed he was still in the race on a technicality after he withdrew from the race. The Illinois State Board of Elections disputed that contention. The board tossed out a challenge to Fawell's petitions was tossed out because the complaint's filer failed to fill out necessary identifing information.
King had $183,000 cash on hand at the end of 2019. Fawell had $590. Incumbent Bustos had more than $3 million in her campaign account. King is currently running ads on Peoria radio.
The primary is March 17.