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MoveOn backs 'Chuy' in Chicago mayor's race -- but will money follow?

The progressive group MoveOn says its Chicago members have overwhelmingly voted in favor of backing Jesus “Chuy” Garcia for Mayor.

The group wouldn’t reveal how many votes were cast but said Garcia had 57 percent of the vote and estimated its Chicago area membership at 75,000.

“There’s a deep desire to replace Rahm Emanuel with a progressive mayor, and MoveOn members are saying clearly that Chuy García is that candidate,” Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action said in a statement. “Chuy García has fought time and time again on behalf of working Chicagoans as an elected official and community organizer and has the vision needed to bring real progressive change to Chicago. Incumbent Rahm Emanuel spent his first term looking out for corporate interests and those at the very top—at the expense of students, working people, and neighborhoods across Chicago.”

The big question, however, remains: will dollars follow? Because that’s what Garcia will need if he wants to get on the airwaves before the February election.

Garcia has nabbed a few endorsements of late but he’s lagging in the money race. Chicago businessman Willie Wilson this week pumped $1 million into his campaign and says he will be up with three TV spots. All of that is a drop in the bucket up against the some $10 million Mayor Rahm Emanuel has in his account, including a recent fund-raising boost from Hollywood titans Steven Spielberg ($25,000) and David Geffen ($50,000).

MoveOn says it bundles donations for endorsed candidates “in addition to helping mobilize volunteers for the candidate’s campaign.”

“In the 2014 election cycle, MoveOn members made over 6.7 million phone calls for endorsed candidates. We’ve also raised millions of dollars and run television and online ads in support of endorsed candidates across the country,” said spokesman Brian Stewart. “We’ll let you know when we’re ready to announce specific action related to this endorsement.”