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.
The flurry of fundraising comes from a pair of candidates who did not decide to run for mayor until after Mayor Rahm Emanuel last month shook up the Feb. 26 election when he announced he would drop his bid for a third term.
Daley’s donations reflect an effort by the former hedge fund partner and JPMorgan Chase executive to solidify support among Chicago’s corporate and financial executives, a set of deep-pocketed donors who Emanuel successfully cultivated for millions of dollars in political contributions during his runs for mayor.
Daley’s latest round of contributions included checks from two loyal donors to Emanuel: $200,000 from Madison Dearborn co-CEO Paul Finnegan and $25,000 from former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.
Executives with Madison Dearborn, a Chicago-based private equity firm, have long been top financial backers of Emanuel.
In fact, Finnegan gave Emanuel $200,000 in June. The firm’s other co-CEO, Sam Mencoff, gave Emanuel $305,000 at the same time. After the mayor announced he would not seek a third term, he told the Tribune he would be returning political contributions to his supporters, although some donors are unlikely to get back their full contributions since Emanuel already had spent some of the more than $10 million he had raised toward a third term.
Contributors associated with Madison Dearborn have been among Emanuel’s most reliable donors, giving more than $2 million since 2010. In a 2015 investigation of Emanuel’s fundraising, the Tribune noted Madison Dearborn and its employees were the No. 2 donor to the mayor’s campaign.
Paulson also has been a loyal donor to Emanuel, with him and his wife, Wendy, contributing more than $100,000 to the mayor’s campaigns. Emanuel, Daley and Paulson all worked together in the Clinton administration. Emanuel served as a senior adviser while Daley held roles as special counsel and later as U.S. Secretary of Commerce.
The Paulsons each contributed the then-maximum $5,300 to Daley’s short-lived campaign for governor in 2013, records show.
Daley on Thursday also reported receiving a $5,600 contribution from attorney Roger Kiley, a former partner at the law firm Mayer Brown, where Daley also was a partner early in his career. Kiley contributed $61,000 to Emanuel’s campaigns, records show.
As Daley quickly closes in on the $1 million mark for his campaign fund, he’s already passed the next-closest candidates in the fundraising department.
McCarthy, the former police superintendent, has raised more than $745,000 over the last seven months, state campaign finance records show. Lightfoot, the former Police Board president and onetime federal prosecutor, has acquired more than $665,000 since announcing her run in May. Wilson, a businessman who finished a distant third in the 2015 mayor’s race, has deposited $665,000, loaning his own campaign $601,000 of that money and contributing an additional $50,000, records show.
Chico’s $519,000 places him squarely in the top tier of candidates when it comes to fundraising, already surpassing former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, who has raised $465,000 to date.
Chico’s fundraising showed less crossover with Emanuel’s top donors, but demonstrate the ties the City Hall veteran has developed over his time as a top aide to former Mayor Richard M. Daley, and his career as a law firm partner and lobbyist. Chico served as a chief of staff under Daley and as president of Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Park District.
Of the more than $500,000 Chico reported Thursday, $100,000 of it came from four donors. In addition to the $25,000 Chico gave his own campaign, three other donors also gave $25,000: EXP Global Chairman Ivan Dvorak, Northeastern Illinois University Opera Director Sasha Gerritson and a real estate firm controlled by Robert Wislow, the CEO of commercial real estate services giant CBRE.
Other notable donors to Chico include: The Private Bank chairman Norman Bobins ($10,000); Katten Muchin Rosenman partner Allan Muchin ($10,000); Gold Coast Tickets ($10,000); Walsh Construction President Daniel Walsh ($1,500).
Chico also recorded $11,000 in donations from four employees and executives with the architectural firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz, one of his City Hall lobbying clients.
Daley and Chico are two of three candidates who entered the race after Emanuel bowed out. The third is Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
Preckwinkle has established a campaign fund for the mayor’s race, which does not have contribution limits because of Wilson’s decision to self-fund his campaign, but she has not reported raising any money for it yet. Preckwinkle, who is on the November ballot unopposed for a third term as the county’s chief executive, last reported having $196,000 in her county campaign fund at the end of June.
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.”
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October 5, 2018 at 07:03AM