Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia expenditures target payroll, consulting as incumbent

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Jesus "Chuy" Garcia's most recent official photograph.

Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Democratic congressman of Illinois’s 4th Congressional District, is spending modestly in the first year of the election cycle. 

As the cycle begins, Garcia has only spent $205,000 in campaign funds, with most of the money being spent on payroll according to a report with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). He has raised around $240,000 so far. In the last election, Garcia spent about $725,000, and in 2018 he spent about $850,000, but he could accelerate spending to previous levels within the next year of the election cycle.

After redistricting earlier this year, Garcia was originally to run against Marie Newman, who currently serves the 3rd District. Newman announced shortly after that she will be running in the 6th District against its incumbent Sean Casten instead.

The 2019-2020 election cycle report from the FEC shows Garcia has spent $182,520 on Paychex, Inc. Paychex is an American provider of human resources that handles the campaign payrolls and employee benefits based in Rochester, New York. This will be the fourth year the team uses Paychex.      

This year, as of late September, Garcia has spent $53,095 on Paychex, a lower amount compared with last year’s report so far. According to the FEC, Roberto Sepulveda’s salary, a member from the campaign team, received the second-highest expenditure from Garcia during this cycle at $24,720. Last election, his salary was documented at $39,332 for the whole year. 

Two other members were reported in the salary. Antonio Favela’s salary was reported at $7,295 and Elizabeth Evans’s salary was reported at $4,764. 

Another company that Garcia has spent money on is HM Consulting, a service fundraising firm which specializes in fundraising services and consulting strategies. In the past two campaigns, Garcia has spent his money on HM Consulting. This year is no different, as it has received $19,373 from Chuy’s campaign.      

He has reported spending money in Latino programs such as “Mujeres Latinas En Accion” where he has spent $300 with the organization, “Chicago Dia De Los Ninos” where he spent $250 and “Latino Leadership Council” where he spent $300. Garcia did not spend on any of these organizations in the past election. 

However, Garcia did spend in other Latino organizations in the past such as the Puerto Rican Agenda of Chicago with $5,000. He also funded other Latinos running for Congress such as Melissa Viverito for $2,000, Cindy Axne for $1,000, Eira Sepulveda for $4,000 and Rafeal Yanez for $2,000. They do not appear in the latest campaign finance report so far. 

It is common for Congressional candidate reports to have numerous credit card transactions, but Garcia has not reported any credit card transactions from his spending report. 

Throughout the year, Garcia has been dedicated to reform in the city of Chicago. Garcia has advocated for many reforms such as Criminal Justice, Voting Rights and Campaign Finance. Garcia has also stayed involved in his community, spending time in neighborhoods primarily in the Latino community. 

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