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Willie Wilson puts $1 million of his own money to challenge Rahm for Mayor

Chicago businessman and philanthropist Willie Wilson on Monday poured $1 million of his own money into his bid for mayor.

Wilson, 66, deposited the money as he prepares to launch three TV ads, according to his campaign.

“He didn’t mind going into his own pocket because he could,” said campaign manager Gregory Seal Livingston.

Wilson is a self-made, successful businessman who emerged from poverty in Louisiana to own a McDonald’s franchise and a medical supply company.

The self-funding marks the first contribution to the campaign since Wilson filed to challenge Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel has amassed a much heftier campaign account that has swelled upward of $10 million.

Livingston said the Wilson campaign is rolling out three TV spots and has already launched radio ads.

“The people of Chicago are to be valued as more than just political steppingstones to higher office,” Wilson said in a statement. “As one who was born into poverty I understand at a deep, painful and personal level how important it is to respect all our citizens no matter the size of their bank accounts.”