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Fioretti finishes first — in spending per vote — and Kozlar wins thrift award

Mayoral candidates Bob Fioretti, left, and John Kozlar, right. File photos by Ashlee Rezin and

Lori Lightfoot got a pretty good bang for her buck, spending less than $17 a vote to grab her spot in the April runoff.

That’s less than third of what Toni Preckwinkle spent per vote, to win the other spot.

Who spent the most to get the least? Former Ald. Bob Fioretti. His 12th place finish cost more than $150 per vote. Lawyer John Kozlar spent the least, and wound up with about as much to show for it. He spent about 91 cents a vote and finished 13th in the 14-candidate field.

Obviously, the goal in politics is to spend enough to win. And they don’t give out prizes for thrift. But the Chicago Sun-Times decided to take an early look at the spending, realizing that the numbers are still in flux.

Nearly $29 million was poured into the mayoral race, which saw an astounding 14 candidates fight tooth and nail for the top two spots.

Here’s how the big dollars shook out in terms of votes, via the Chicago Board of Election’s unofficial tally, which does not yet include all mail and provisional ballots. The Sun-Times analysis tabulated all contributions as far back as January 2018. It also does not include recent spending, which candidates do not have to disclose until the next quarterly report with the Illinois State Board of Elections. And for candidates who were already holding an elected position, dollars were only calculated from their mayoral funds.

The fundraising battle will go on for Lighfoot, former Chicago Police Board, and Preckwinkle, Cook County Board president, who will face off in the April 2 runoff. The city will see its first black female mayor in Chicago history.

Chicago Mayoral Candidate Lori Lightfoot addresses the crowd at her election night party as she leads in the polls, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, in Chicago. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times
Chicago Mayoral Candidate Lori Lightfoot addresses the crowd at her election night party as she leads in the polls, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, in Chicago. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Lightfoot topped the field on Tuesday with 93,302 votes. She raised $1,558,656.53, and assuming she spent it all, that equates to $16.70 a vote. Lightfoot gave herself about $266,000, records show.

Preckwinkle brought in $4,617,515.53 and garnered about 86,057 votes, equating to $53.66 a vote. Preckwinkle’s top donation was $2.2 million from the Service Employees International Union, which will likely try to boost her campaign ahead of the election.

Mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle speaks at her election night event at Lake Shore Cafe, 4900 S. Lake Shore Dr., Tuesday night, Feb. 26, 2019. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times
Mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle speaks at her election night event at Lake Shore Cafe, 4900 S. Lake Shore Dr., Tuesday night, Feb. 26, 2019. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

In third place was Bill Daley, who was also the top fundraiser. Daley brought in a whopping $8,754,866.81 and came in with 78,722 votes on Tuesday. That equates to $111.21 per vote. Daley’s biggest donor was Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, who contributed $2 million and whom Daley thanked in his concession speech.

Business owner Willie Wilson raised $1,612,681.16, which equates to $27.94 a vote. Wilson came in fourth with 57,713 votes.

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza raised $2,866,365.91, and brought in 48,351 votes. That equated to $59.28 a vote. Political action committees for the carpenters, painters, bricklayers, laborers and finishing trades pumped $885,000 into Mendoza’s campaign.

Community activist Amara Enyia, who received $400,000 from Chance the Rapper, raised $649,636.91, which equates to $15.22 a vote. Enyia had 42,688 votes.

Attorney Jerry Joyce, raised $2,785,410.00 and got 39,128 votes, which equates to $71.19.

Former Chicago Board of Education head Gery Chico raised $3,340,652.09 — winning 33,392 votes — which equated to $100.04 a vote. Chico’s top donor was himself. He contributed $235,000 to his campaign.

Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas raised $1,128,520.34, which equated to $38.87 a vote. Vallas had 29,036 votes.

Former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy had 14,246 votes. McCarthy raised $1,374,685.67, which equates to $96.50 a vote.

State Rep. La Shawn Ford raised $23,350, which breaks down to $4.31 a vote. Ford recorded 5,418 votes. Fioretti raised $616,700.00, and had 4,090 votes, equals $150.78 a vote.

Kozlar raised $2,014 — and got 2,212 votes — which equates to 91 cents a vote. And businessman Neal Sales-Griffin raised $147,432 — winnng 1,426 votes — which equates to $103.39 a vote.