Mayoral candidate Gery Chico on Friday announced his campaign had raked in about $429,000 in donations over the last month, bringing his war chest to over $1.5 million.
That’s still a distant second in the crowded field to Bill Daley, who dipped into his $2.7 million campaign fund on Thursday to launch his first television ads ahead of the Feb. 26 election.
Chico said he’d use his $429,000 cash infusion to air TV ads of his own in the coming weeks.
About $300,000 of the windfall was the result of 114 donations of $1,000 or more collected in the last week, according to Illinois Board of Elections records.
That includes $25,000 from Wheels Inc. chairman Jim Frank; $14,000 from retiree Rose Gonzalez; and $10,000 apiece from One Chicago Fund president Sarah Pang and Weigel Broadcasting executive Lilli Scheye.
The remainder came from contributions of less than $1,000 — which candidates don’t have to report to the Board of Elections until the end of December — from nearly 800 donors, according to Chico.
“People are responding very broadly to our campaign and our message,” said Chico, who served as chief of staff and Chicago Board of Education president under former Mayor Richard M. Daley. “They believe in our ability to win, and more importantly our ability to govern.”
Chico and Bill Daley are the only candidates so far to raise more than $1 million, though former Chicago Police Board president Lori Lightfoot was close to $992,000 and former CPD Supt. Garry McCarthy sat near $937,000 as of Friday night.
Entrepreneur Willie Wilson and former Chicago Public Schools chief Paul Vallas each have raised more than $800,000, while Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza had $670,100 in the bank and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle had over $596,000.
There are 21 declared candidates vying to replace Mayor Rahm Emanue; 13 of them face petition challenges.
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