By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL
Aldermanic candidates have raised more than $300,000 in the race for the 4th and 5th wards, with incumbents raking in the vast majority of funds.
Illinois State Board of Elections records reveal that in the time period since challengers have begun raising money, Alds. Leslie Hairston’s (5th) and Will Burns’ (4th) campaigns have collected roughly 80 percent of all contributions in the two wards combined. Individually, Hairston has outraised opponents three-to-one, and Burns by a margin of nine-to-one.
That’s left both incumbents far better off than their closest competition. As of Dec. 31, Hairston was left with roughly $29,000 in campaign cash, more than double Anne Marie Miles’ $12,000. In the 4th Ward, the gap was even bigger: Burns’ campaign had around $154,000 on hand, while second-runner Bey’s had a mere $3,000.
Despite having less competition, campaigns in the 4th Ward have spent far more than in the 5th. Since October, 4th Ward candidates have spent $82,000, with Burns’ campaign accounting for a whopping 93 percent of the expenditures. In the 5th Ward, since July when at least one challenger began raising money, candidates have spent around $49,000 total, with Hairston accounting for around 62 percent of spending.
Burns and Hairston, along with 5th Ward candidates Anne Marie Miles, Jocelyn Hare and Tiffany Brooks, are the only candidates to have collected single donations of $1,000 or more.
Miles was the recipient of the biggest single donation to any 5th Ward candidate — a Jan. 30 contribution of $11,000 coming out of her own pocket. Since July, Miles has donated a total of $26,950 to her own campaign —making her the biggest political donor to her own campaign and in the 5th Ward.
Three 5th Ward candidates had less than $1,000 cash on hand at the end of last December. Tiffany Brooks had $132, Jedidiah Brown had $80 and Robin Boyd-Clark’s campaign was almost $1,900 in the red. All three of them have raised less than $5,000, with Boyd Clark having collected no cash donations.
Hairston has raised $156,583 since July, the most of any 5th Ward candidate in that time period, followed by Miles at $35,800 and Hare at $10,260. She is also the only candidate in the ward to receive donations from unions and corporations, as well as individuals. Her top donor is the Chicago Teachers Union Political Action Committee ($10,500).
Other notable donors to Hairston’s campaign include pastor Leon Finney, of the now-shuttered advocacy group The Woodlawn Organization ($750); Derek Douglas, vice president for Civic Engagement at the University of Chicago ($200); Gary Comer, son of late billionaire Guy Comer ($3,000); Will Burns’ campaign ($1,000) and Theaster Gates Studios ($500).
Burns meanwhile, with total receipts of $98,950 since October, is the top fundraiser in the 4th Ward, followed by Norman Bolden at $5,150 and Tracey Bey at $3,725. Most of Bey’s contributions have come from individuals, while most of Bolden’s — $4,000 — have come from his own company, Norflo Holding Corporation. Burns has received cash contributions from a mix of corporations, unions and individuals, with Cincinnati developer Louis B. Guttman, principal of Hills Communities Inc., as his top contributor ($5,000).
Other notable contributors to Burns’ campaign include former Exelon CEO John Rowe ($2,500); Eric Reeves, managing director of private investment firm Duchoissois Capital Management ($2,500); Jennifer Steans, president and CEO of Financial Investments Corporation and daughter of billionaire banker Harrison Steans ($1,000); Smart Hotels, manager of the Harper Court Hyatt ($1,000) and Linda Thisted, co-vice president of the Coalition for Equitable Community Development ($250).
To view upcoming filings by aldermanic campaigns, visit elections.il.gov.