Bill Da­ley first to top $1M in may­oral fundrais­ing race, but oth­ers close be­hind

Pads lead in may­oral fundrais­ing sweep­stakes with help from Emanuel cam­paign con­trib­u­tors

Chicago Sun-Times - - FRONT PAGE - BY FRAN SPIEL­MAN, CITY HALL RE­PORTER fspiel­man@sun­times.com | @fspiel­man

Bill Da­ley is pad­ding his lead in the may­oral fundrais­ing sweep­stakes — and top­ping the $1 mil­lion bench­mark — with help from two of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s most re­li­able cam­paign con­trib­u­tors.

On Tues­day, Da­ley re­ported re­ceiv­ing $75,000 from Lester, Pa­tri­cia and Paula Crown and an­other $25,000 con­tri­bu­tion from Richard Robb, an ex­ec­u­tive with Henry Crown & Co., who is mar­ried to Re­becca Crown.

The Crown fam­ily, a busi­ness, fi­nance and phil­an­thropic pil­lar of Chicago, con­trib­uted $415,300 to Emanuel’s may­oral cam­paigns.

Da­ley also bagged a $50,000 con­tri­bu­tion from Chicago ven­ture cap­i­tal pi­o­neer Bryan Cressey.

Cressey was an early part­ner in the pri­vate-eq­uity firm GTCR that once in­cluded Gov. Bruce Rauner. The “C” stood for Cressey. The “R” stood for Rauner.

Cressey gave $276,200 to Emanuel’s may­oral cam­paigns.

The in­fu­sion of Oc­to­ber con­tri­bu­tions makes Da­ley, the son and brother of Chicago may­ors, the first may­oral can­di­date to top $1 mil­lion. His to­tal now stands at $1.035 mil­lion.

The next clos­est chal­lenger will be de­ter­mined when quar­terly re- ports are due next week.

Sec­ond place is likely to go to either for­mer Po­lice Board Pres­i­dent Lori Light­foot, with $827,794 in con­tri­bu­tions, or fired Chicago Po­lice Supt. Garry Mc­Carthy, who claims to have raised $830,000 to date with “com­mit­ments” that will soon take him “well past” $1 mil­lion.

Mil­lion­aire busi­ness­man Wil­lie Wil­son’s $100,000 con­tri­bu­tion to him­self lifted the caps on the mayor’s race be­fore Emanuel dropped out. Wil­son has raised more than $660,000, nearly all of it from him­self.

The Crowns have long been a sta­ple of Da­ley fam­ily fundrais­ing.

In 2013, Crown fam­ily mem­bers to­gether con­trib­uted $37,100 to Bill Da­ley for Illi­nois be­fore Da­ley de­cided not to chal­lenge then-in­cum­bent Demo­cratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

The Crown fam­ily also con­trib­uted more than $93,000 to the cam­paigns of Da­ley’s older brother, Richard M. Da­ley, Chicago’s long­est-serv­ing mayor.

Con­tacted Thurs­day, Bill Da­ley said cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions are “one in­di­ca­tor of sup­port” and he’s “very proud” to have it, both from peo­ple whom he has known for many years and those he has met re­cently. The Crown fam­ily falls into the fa­mil­iar cat­e­gory.

“They’re a ma­jor phil­an­thropic fam­ily in the city that has had enor­mous im­pact for a very, very long time,” he said.

“Putting aside the po­lit­i­cal in­volve­ment, [there is] the char­i­ta­ble and civic en­gage­ment. There are very few peo­ple who have given as much as they have to help this city be bet­ter. … It makes me proud of the fact that they have stood up to sup­port me in the level that they have.”

Last month, Da­ley wrote a $500,000 check to him­self. It was an ap­par­ent at­tempt to prove that his track record of flirt­ing with var­i­ous of­fices, then drop­ping out, will not be re­peated in the race to re­place Emanuel.

On Thurs­day, Da­ley bris­tled when asked whether he was in the race to stay.

“I’m not even gonna an­swer that stupid ques­tion,” Da­ley said. “I’m not in­sult­ing you. But, it is a stupid ques­tion.”

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