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Bill Daley widens fundraising lead, becomes first mayoral candidate to top $4M

Mayoral candidate Bill Daley. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Mayoral candidate Bill Daley. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Bill Daley is widening his fundraising lead in the mayoral sweepstakes — and becoming the first candidate vying to replace Mayor Rahm Emanuel to top the $4 million mark.

In a fundraising drop late Friday, Daley reported another $430,516 in contributions from deep-pockets donors, bringing his total to $4.11 million.

The heavy hitters include $100,000 contributions from each of the following: the Samuel Zell Revocable Trust owned by the billionaire who formerly owned the Chicago Tribune; Byron Trott, CEO of BDT Capital Partners; Christopher Reyes and M. Jude Reyes, executives of Reyes Holdings LLC.

David Reyes, CEO of the Reyes Beer Division, contributed $25,000 to Daley.

RELATED: Chicago mayoral money-tracker: Led by Daley

In 2017, Crain’s Chicago Business listed Reyes Holdings, a food and beer distributor, as the third-largest privately-held company in Illinois.

The latest money drop puts Daley far ahead of the field in the race for dollars.

It also explains why he’s back on the air with yet another campaign commercial — using the theme, “No more excuses” –– hammering away at the issues of crime, taxes and Emanuel’s downtown-centric development.

Daley’s next closes competitors are: Toni Preckwinkle ($2.77 million); Gery Chico $1.57 million; Susana Mendoza ($1.13 million) and Garry McCarthy ($1.04 million).

Millionaire businessman Willie Wilson, whose contribution to himself lifted fundraising caps in the mayor’s race, has raised $998,000, nearly all of it from himself.

He’s followed by Lori Lightfoot ($980,000); Paul Vallas ($833,620); Jerry Joyce ($356,250) and Amara Enyia ($207,520).

Big business appears to be rallying behind the son and brother of Chicago mayors amid fears of new taxes on corporations and high net-worth individuals.

In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times in late October, Daley, a former U.S. Commerce secretary, argued that the business leaders had helped him to become the fundraising leader because they are “very concerned” about stability, taxation and about Chicago taking a sharp turn to the left.

He subsequently rocked the boat by floating the idea of a commuter tax on suburbanites who work in Chicago to satisfy a looming, $1 billion spike in pension payments that will confront the next mayor and City Council.