$16M for Contested Chicago Council Races

Candidates for contested seats on the Chicago City Council have raised at least $16 million for their 2007 election campaigns, and only a handful of challengers have been able to match the fundraising success of the incumbent aldermen, according to an analysis by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR).

Fundraising totals vary wildly from one candidate to another. One candidate reports a six-figure total, but others have raised just a few thousand dollars. Nine candidates are unopposed and are not included in these figures.

14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke once again is the fundraising king of the City Council. Burke, a long time council veteran, reported more than $5.8 million in contributions. His opponent, his first in years, has yet to form a fundraising committee. By comparison all 12 candidates running for an open seat in the 15th Ward have a combined total of less than $250,000.

Citywide candidates report $8 million, though incumbent Mayor Richard M Daley holds the lion’s share of those funds: $7.1 million, while all other citywide candidates, for all three citywide offices, combine for $850K.

Among the more interesting Aldermanic campaigns:

* In the 2nd Ward, three candidates report raising over $100K, with a fourth close behind. From a fundraising perspective, this race appears to have the most well-funded candidates.

* In the 7th Ward, appointed Ald. Darcel Beavers and opponent Sandi Jackson have both raised more than $100K;Jackson reports the most, at $227K, while Beavers shows $136K. No other candidate reported over $10K in funds for next Tuesday’s election.

* In the 12th Ward, incumbent Ald. George Cardenas reports $149K, giving him a slight financial lead over challenger Carina Sanchez, at $129K. Only one of the other four candidates, Jesus Salazar, reports raising over $10K; Salazar stands at $12K.

* In the open 15th Ward, Toni Foulkes reports $196K; all 11 other candidates combine for about $50K.

* In the 19th Ward, incumbent Ald. Ginger Rugai shows $142K, more than both challengers combined. Repeat challenger John Summerville shows $58K, while newcomer Tim Sheehan shows $26K

* In the 20th Ward, indicted incumbent Arenda Troutman shows just $33K for Tuesday’s election. She still holds a strong fundraising lead over both challengers, one of whom, Willie Cochran, shows $17K and the other of whom, Edward Chaney, has failed to file timely campaign disclosure reports.

* In the 21st Ward, Leroy Jones reports $206K in receipts, $200K in recent money. He's facing incumbent Howard Brookins, who reports $50K in receipts; two other challengers, Sylvia Jones and Dwayne Belle, have yet to form fundraising committees.

* In the 25th Ward, Ald. Danny Solis shows $290K, most of which was raised since January 1. Challenger Juan Soliz shows $70K, nearly all of which came in since January 1, while Martha Padilla reports $53K. Three other candidates combine for another $70K.

* In the 42nd Ward, challenger Brendan Reilly reports$335K for the race; more than most incumbents. The incumbent he is facing, though, Ald. Burton Natarus, reports more than twice as much, at $684K.

* In the 43rd Ward, incumbent Vi Daley holds a strong fundraising edge, at $315K, but two opponents, Michelle Smith and Tim Egan, have raised over $100K. Of the other two candidates, one, Rachel Goodstein, shows $1K, while Peter Zelchenko hasn’t filed timely disclosure reports.

* In the 50th Ward, Ald. Bernie Stone and challenger Naisy Dolar both show $130K available, while Greg Brewer shows $91K. A fourth candidate, Salman Aftab, reports $15K.

Figures for all races are available for download here (.xls). Totals are based on disclosure reports filed with the State Board of Elections, including cash on hand on December 31, 2006 and reported funds raised since then as of 9AM on Friday, February 23.

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