The first round of voting in Chicago's aldermanic races in just over two weeks, and the candidates are busily courting voters at every opportunity. Sometimes this takes a personal touch, but in many wards, candidates are relying on fundraising efforts to get out the vote.
ICPR looked at cash on hand on January 1, and all money raised since then. A list of the top five contested wards for fundraising is below.
43rd Ward (Lincoln Park): $759K. The 43rd Ward sees the departure of incumbent Vi Daley and a field of 9 candidates to replace her. All but one have formed fundraising committees. Current Ward Committeewoman Michelle Smith leads in fundraising with $284K, followed by Rafael Vargas at $141K and Bita Buenrostro at $113K.
27th Ward (Near West Side): $400K. In the 27th Ward, incumbent Ald. Walter Burnett is sitting on nearly all of the money, though his two challengers do have fundraising committees.
46th Ward (Uptown): $275K. With Ald. Helen Schiller's retirement, the 46th Ward is more like the 43rd - an open seat with many candidates actively raising money. James Cappleman, who ran before, leads fundraising with $113K, followed by a tight cluster of Don Nowotny at $48K, Molly Phelan at $47K, and Befekadu Retta at $46K.
19th Ward (Beverly/Morgan Park): $225K
45th Ward (Jefferson Park): $252K
In some wards, a handful of candidates are raising money at a furious clip. The top fundraisers since January 1 are:
19th Ward Candidate Anne Schiable: $92K. The 19th Ward is an open seat and as in the 43rd, the current Ward Committeeman leads in fundraising. Matt O'Shea reported $116K at the end of the year and has added $18K since then. Candidate Anne Schiable reports $103K total, including $92K raised this year The great bulk of that, $85K, came from Keith Schiable.
38th Ward Alderman Tim Cullerton: $84K. The 38th Ward has 8 candidates including Cullerton, who was appointed to the seat after the retirement of Tom Allen. No other candidate shows more than four figures.
29th Ward Alderman Deborah Graham: $81K. The 29th is a crowded field with 8 candidates, 6 of whom have formed fundraising committees. But nearly all of the money is flowing to the sitting (appointed) Alderman, former State Rep. Deborah Graham, and to challenger Mary Gardner. No other candidate reports five figures.
4th Ward Candidate Will Burns: $81K
29th Ward Candidate Mary Gardner: $79K
Our website has fundraising and cash-on-hand for all candidates, if your ward isn't here. Our district locator will also tell you who his running in your ward, based on your address. Have a look. Data updates twice a week, including, by the end of this week, the paper filers.