Bill Daley, Gery Chico quickly crank up fundraising in Chicago mayor race

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A little more than two weeks after entering the race for Chicago mayor, former corporate executive and political insider Bill Daley, and City Hall veteran and lobbyist Gery Chico have cranked up their fundraising operations, combining to raise more than $1.4 million.

The contribution haul by both political veterans launches them forward in a field of 15 candidates, many of whom have struggled to raise money so far.

Daley, the son and brother of two former Chicago mayors, has raised more than $885,000 since Sept. 19 — including $500,000 of his own money and the rest from a handful of donors. On Thursday, Daley reported raising more than $235,000, enough to catapult him past fellow challengers Garry McCarthy, Lori Lightfoot and Willie Wilson in the total amount of money raised in the race, records show.

Also on Thursday, Chico reported raising $519,000 from 87 different donors. The total includes $29,000 that Chico contributed to his own campaign.

So far, the bulk of Daley’s money stems from the $500,000 he gave his own campaign last month. Remove the amounts Daley and Chico gave to their own campaigns, and Chico has raised $490,000 compared with Daley’s $385,000.

Some political insiders have said Daley’s making a large contribution to his campaign was necessary to convince donors he’s serious about a run, after he bailed on his previous run for governor after just four months.

While Daley certainly accumulated wealth during his time in the private sector, he was quick to point out in an interview last month that he’s not in the same league as Gov. Bruce Rauner and J.B. Pritzker, the billionaire Hyatt heir and Democrat nominee for governor, who together have placed more than $200 million in their own campaigns.

“I assume that I’ll put some money into this campaign, because I believe in this campaign and I do want to send this message that if you help me — whether you can give money and you’re able to or you can give time to volunteer or sign a petition — that I’ve got more than just 24/7 in this game,” Daley said. “With all due respect, I’m not J.B. Pritzker. Don’t expect $120 million.”

bruthhart@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @BillRuthhart

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October 5, 2018 at 07:03AM

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