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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Chicago's Lightfoot on campaign spending: 'We're about 40 days out from an election.'

With only slightly more than a month left in the race, many of the candidates reportedly have as much money to spend, if not more, than the incumbent Lightfoot does; a recent Chicago Tribune report said.

The mayor began the quarter with approximately $3 million in the coffers, and her campaign raised an additional amount of approximately $1.5 million between October and December. During that time, however, her campaign reportedly spent approximately $3 million, with two-thirds of that amount going toward advertising, according to a filing with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

“It’s campaign season,” Lightfoot said during a recent news conference. “We’re about 40 days out from an election. Of course we’re spending money. We’re spending money to be on TV, we’re spending money on our field operation, we’re spending money on voter engagement. I’m not one who thinks that the thing to do is continue to hoard money.

“We feel very good about where we are, we feel very good about the amount of money that we’re raising, and we’re going to have plenty of money to make sure we communicate and we stay up on TV.”

Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson raised more money than any other of Lightfoot’s challengers during the final quarter of 2022, with his total above $1.1 million. Much of that money came from progressive supporters and unions, including the powerful Chicago Teachers Union. Counting fundraising from the start of 2023 onward, Johnson currently has over $1.7 million to spend.

Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas has approximately $1.8 million, and U.S. Rep. Jesús "Chuy" Garcia has approximately $1.3 million. Although businessman Willie Wilson has the largest amount of money to spend of any candidate, nearly all of it is money that he loaned himself.

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