In the six-month period ending March 31, eighteen aldermanic candidates raised over $240,000 and spent $187,000, according to campaign finance disclosure reports submitted to the Illinois State Board of Elections. In addition, the independent campaign committee Evanston Together spent just under $13,000 in support of four incumbent candidates and one challenger.
Three political action committees were active in the election, contributing to select campaigns: Evanston Firemans PAC contributed $4,800 or $600 each to eight candidates; Realtors PAC contributed $4,000 in total to four candidates, and the Organization for Positive Action and Leadership (OPAL) contributed $1,800, or $200 each to eight aldermanic candidates.
Mayor Stephen Hagerty, who chose not to stand for re-election, was the largest individual campaign contributor, donating $5,000 to Evanston Together; $2,000 to Sixth Ward challenger Katie Trippi; $1,500 each to incumbents Judy Fiske in the First Ward and Peter Braithwaite in the Second Ward and $900 to incumbent Melissa Wynne in the Third Ward. Other generous contributors to aldermanic candidates include Penny Sebring and Charles Lewis, and Winnetka residents Cameel and Hoda Halim, founders of the Halim Time & Glass Museum in Evanston.
Two candidates, Fourth Ward incumbent Don Wilson and Fifth Ward candidate Carolyn Murray, did not file campaign disclosure reports. Ald. Wilson, whose campaign ended with the February primary, stated that campaign contributions and spending were under the limit – $5,000 received or spent in a 12-month period – required for filing a report with the Illinois State Board of Elections.
The most expensive contest was in the Eighth Ward, among Incumbent Ann Rainey, who was eliminated in the Feb. 23 primary, and challengers Devon Reid and Matthew Marley Mitchell. A total of $56,600 was raised and $41,600 spent during the six months before the end of March, about twice as much as the average ward race.
The least expensive was the non-contest in the Ninth Ward, where incumbent Alderman Cicely Fleming ran unopposed. Campaign committee Friends of Cicely L. Fleming raised $700 and spent $690.
The most lopsided contest was in the Third Ward, where incumbent Melissa Wynne outspent challenger Nicholas Korzeniowski by a factor of six. The organization Melissa Wynne for Evanston raised $13,335 and spent $11,377; the organization Nick for Evanston raised $4,250 and spent $1,795.
The deadline for filing March quarter campaign finance reports with the Illinois State Board of Elections was April 15. Campaign committees are required to file a quarterly report, the D-2 form, by the 15th of the month following the quarter end.
State law requires campaign contributions of $1,000 or more to be disclosed by filing a schedule A-1 within five business days of receipt or two business days if receipt is within 30 days of an election.
Summaries of campaign financing and spending for each ward follow.
Campaign filings show challenger Clare Kelly raised twice as much as incumbent Alderman Judy Fiske and spent 35% more during the campaign.
Clare for First raised $19,946 in the combined December and March quarters and spent $14,861. Significant donations included $750 from former 2017 mayoral candidate Jeff Smith, including a $500 transfer of funds from the still active campaign committee Jeff Smith for Evanston; $600 from Evanston Firemans PAC (political action committee); and $200 from Alderman Cicely Fleming.
Citizens for Judy Fiske raised $9,855 and spent $10,794 including an in-kind donation valued at $2,817 from Matt Mirapaul for photography and graphic design.
Other significant donations to Ald. Fiske’s campaign include $2,000 from Barbara Janes; $1,500 from Mayor Stephen Hagerty; and $1,000 from Linda Clarke. Mayor Hagerty also donated $5,000 to the PAC Evanston Together, which sent several mailers supporting Evanston aldermanic candidates including Ald. Fiske and created a video critical of candidate Ms. Kelly.
Second Ward incumbent Peter Braithwaite raised four times as much money as challenger Darlene Cannon and outspent her campaign by a factor of more than two. Citizens to Re-elect Peter Braithwaite raised $23,403 and spent $15,455; Darlene Cannon for 2nd Ward raised $5,314 and spent $6,569 according to D-2 March quarter reports filed last week with the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Ald. Braithwaite’s campaign received contributions of $1,500 from Charles Lewis; $1,000 from Valli Produce; $1,000 from Adam Finlayson on March 1; and $1,000 from Lynn Phillips.
Incumbent Melissa Wynne outspent challenger Nick Korzeniowski by a factor of six. Melissa Wynne for Evanston raised $13,335 and spent $11,377; Nick for Evanston raised $4,250 and spent $1,795.
Significant contributors to Melissa Wynne for Evanston included a $5,000 loan from the candidate; $3,000 from family members; $2,500 from Mary and Paul Finnegan; and $900 from Mayor Hagerty.
Significant contributors to Nick for Evanston included $1,000 from Alexis Eyler and $475 from Elliott Zashin.
Campaign filings show Jonathan Nieuwsma raised and spent 70% more than Diane Goldring. Newcomers Mr. Nieuwsma and Ms. Goldring were the top two vote-getters in the Feb. 23 primary, which ousted two-term incumbent Alderman Don Wilson. Mr. Nieuwsma won 58.5% of votes cast in the April 6 election.
Friends of Jonathan Nieuwsma raised $15,195 and spent $13,543, including an in-kind donation valued at $1,950 from the candidate.
The largest cash contributions were $4,000 from the candidate; $1,500 from Adam Finlayson; $1,000 from Jeff Smith; $1,000 from Leslie Shad and Joe Brennan; and $500 from Milton Nieuwsma.
Friends of Diane Goldring raised $9,066 and spent $7,897. Significant donations include $1,250 from Jonathan Lustig; $1,300 from Norman Goldring; $500 from the candidate; $500 from Jay Goldring; $500 from Betsy Wilson; and $200 from Cicely Fleming.
Ald. Wilson stated that campaign contributions and spending were under the dollar limit – $5,000 received or spent in a twelve-month period – required for filing a report with the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Election filings show Bobby Burns raised just under $21,000 and spent $17,475; Rebeca Mendoza raised $2,512 and spent $471. There are no campaign committee filings for candidate Carolyn Murray for 5th ward, Carolyn Murray’s campaign committee. Significant contributions to Friends of Bobby Burns include $2,500 from Vote Assyrian; $1,000 each from Rachael Hayman, Leslie Shad, Michael Sutton, and Bill Stafford; and $600 from Evanston Firemans PAC.
Incumbent Alderman Thomas Suffredin raised twice as much as challenger Katie Trippi, and outspent her campaign by a factor of three and a half in the six months ending March 31.
Friends of Tom Suffredin raised $27,955 and spent $19,381; Trippi for Evanston raised $14,593 and spent $5,350. Both committees have money left in their campaign coffers at the end of the March quarter.
Ald. Suffredin’s campaign was largely self-funded by a $9,000 loan and an $8,225 donation. Other significant contributions include $1,500 from Realtors PAC; a $500 transfer from the campaign committee Jeff Smith for Evanston; and $200 from Ald. Fleming.
Significant contributions to Trippi for Evanston were from family members including $3,000 from political strategist Joe Trippi, Ms. Trippi’s ex-husband; and $1,000 from Laura Tucker and Pete Giangreco, Ms. Tucker’s sister and brother-in-law. Mayor Stephen Hagerty contributed $2,000 and Evanston Firemans PAC gave $600.
Mayor Hagerty also donated $5,000 to Evanston Together, which sent several mailers supporting Evanston aldermanic candidates including Ms. Trippi. In addition, the independent campaign committee Evanston Together made a $2,306 in-kind contribution to Katie for Evanston in early April.
Campaign contributions and spending between challenger Mary Rosinski and incumbent Eleanor Revelle were similar in the race for the Seventh Ward aldermanic seat.
Significant contributions to Friends of Eleanor included $1,000 from her husband, William Revelle; $1,000 from lawyer Michael Mulder; and $500 each from Marjorie Benton, Jerome Donohoe, Richard Kurzawski, Lucy Lehrman, and Charles Lewis.
Friends of Mary Rosinski received transfers from other campaign committees including $650 from Keenan4Evanston, the campaign committee of mayoral candidate Lori Keenan; $600 from Evanston Firemans PAC; and $500 from Realtor PAC. Other sizable contributions included $500 each from Evanston Masonry, Tom O’Rourke, Richard Wright, and Karen York.
The three candidates vying for the Eighth Ward aldermanic seat raised a combined $56,600 and spent $41,600 during the election.
Incumbent Ann Rainey raised $13,655 and spent $4,377 before exiting the race after failing to secure enough votes in the Feb. 23 primary to proceed to the general election.
Significant contributions to campaign committee Rainey for Alderman included $2,500 from Cameel Halim; $1,500 from Kosta Douvikas; $1,000 each from Robert King and Dilshad Lakjhan; $600 from Evanston Firefighters PAC; and $500 from former Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl.
Election winner and former City Clerk Devon Reid raised half of and spent one-third less than newcomer Matthew Marley Mitchell. Individual contributions to campaign committee Reidfor8 were generally $300 or less. Sizable donations included $1,450 from Joseph Brennan and Leslie Shad; $900 from Cory Thomas; $750 from Carl Lemaine; and $700 from Elliot Zashin.
Friends of Matthew Marley Mitchell benefited from family members, out-of-town friends, and several large donations. Excluding the $5,000 contribution from Penny Sebring and Charles Lewis, half of itemized donations on the March D-2 campaign committee report or $6,675, were from contributors residing outside of Illinois. Realtors PAC contributed $500.
Incumbent Alderman Cicely Fleming ran unopposed in the April 6 general election. Campaign committee Friends of Cicely L. Fleming raised $700 and spent $690.
Independent Campaign Committees and PACs
Evanston Together raised $13,300 and spent just under $13,000 in March supporting five candidates: incumbents Judy Fiske, Peter Braithwaite, Melissa Wynne and Eleanor Revelle and challenger Katie Trippi. Significant contributors were Mayor Stephen Hagerty and Hoda Halim, who each gave $5,000. In addition, Evanston Together made an in-kind contribution to Katie for Evanston with a value of $2,306 in early April.
Evanston Firemans PAC contributed $4,800 or $600 each to eight candidates: Bobby Burns, Peter Braithwaite, Clare Kelly, Mary Rosinski, Ann Rainey, Katie Trippi, Don Wilson, and Melissa Wynne.
OPAL contributed $1,600 or $200 each eight candidates: Nick for Evanston, Friends of Clare for First, Darlene Cannon for 2nd Ward, Friends of Diane Goldring, Friends of Bobby Burns, Friends of Tom Suffredin, Friends of Mary Rosinski and Reidfor8.
Realtor PAC contributed $1,500 each to Friends of Mary Rosinski and Friends of Tom Suffredin and $500 each to Friends of Matthew Marley Mitchell and Darlene Cannon for 2nd Ward.