SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — Democrats running for a chance to replace U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Illinois) in Congress are struggling to excite donors and raise funds, and face a steep uphill climb in the fundraising fight against Republican candidate Esther Joy King.

Federal election records show King has already raised $1.6 million this cycle, while Democratic candidates Jonathan Logemann, Eric Sorensen, Angela Normoyle, Litesa Wallace, and Marsha Williams have combined to raise just $416,011. More than half of those funds sit in the campaign funds for Logemann and Sorensen who each raised just over $100k so far.

Why aren’t donors more excited about backing a Democratic candidate in the primary contest?

“That’s a good question that I’m still trying to figure out as a state central committeeman,” state representative Maurice West (D-Rockford) said.

Does King have the upper hand at this stage in the race? West says he’s withholding judgment until after he sees which candidates collect enough petition signatures to appear on the June 28th primary ballot.

“I need to know who’s officially on the ballot,” West said.