Bill Daley Gives $500K to His Campaign for Chicago Mayor

That contribution, along with two other sizable donations, put Daley at the top of the list when it comes to funding for mayoral candidates

Bill Daley donated $500,000 of his own money to kick off his campaign for Chicago mayor last week, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.

His contribution was made on Sept. 20 and reported Wednesday afternoon, records show, along with $100,000 from Victory Park Capital founder Richard Levy and $50,000 from a donor named Samuel Scott, who was listed as retired.

That total of $650,000 catapulted Daley to the top of the list when it comes to funding for the 16 declared candidates running for Chicago mayor. Former Chicago Police Board President Lori Lightfoot was ranked second in that regard with roughly $609,000 cash on hand, state records show.

Daley's cash infusion came just days after he declared his candidacy on Sept. 17, which was two weeks after Mayor Rahm Emanuel shocked political circles by announcing that he would not be running for a third term.

A familiar name in Illinois politics, Daley’s father Richard J. Daley served as mayor of the city for 21 years, and his brother Richard M. Daley became the longest serving mayor in Chicago history before deciding in 2010 not to seek re-election.

Bill Daley spent more than three years as commerce secretary under former President Bill Clinton, served as former President Barack Obama's chief of staff from 2011 to 2012, and briefly entered the Illinois gubernatorial race in 2013 before taking himself out of the running.

The younger Daley, who most recently worked in finance, was the first person to officially declare his candidacy in the wake of Emanuel's bombshell announcement, joining an already crowded field of candidates that could grow even larger.

Other candidates in the race include Lightfoot, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, among others.

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