Rahm's raised $10.6M for mayoral campaign

January 21, 2011 5:27:10 AM PST
Rahm Emanuel reported Thursday he has now raised more than $10 million for his campaign to become mayor of Chicago.

Emanuel's $10.6 million raised as of Wednesday for the former White House chief of staff's campaign for mayor is believed to be over three times the amount of money raised by the five other candidates combined.

And, the campaign cash front runner continues to keep his distance from the rest of the pack in other ways.

Emanuel's morning news conference was about part of his plan for public transportation-- specifically, extending the Red Line that runs through the heart of Chicago's African-American South Side beyond 95th Street to the city limits.

"If you're going to get the kind of economic growth you need, the Red Line is the backbone of our system," Emanuel said.

Gery Chico, who campaigned Thursday for "green jobs" at a North Side electric turbine plant, agreed the Red Line should be extended.

But Chico questioned the timing of former Congressman Emanuel's interest in public transit on the South Side.

"Rahm Emanuel was in Congress for many years. He was in the White House for just the last couple of years. And we didn't see anything," Chico said.

Emanuel skipped another mayoral forum Thursday, this one sponsored by Northwest Side business associations.

The moderator, the Better Government Association's Andy Shaw, said Emanuel was "cheating" voters.

"The voters of the City of Chicago should see all of the candidates side by side answering the same questions and going back and forth," said Shaw.

"I will continue to talk directly to folks as I've done not only this morning, I will do this evening at another L stop," said Emanuel.

Emanuel ended his morning event before any questions about his big edge in fundraising.

Carol Moseley Braun predicted the money would not affect voters.

"I don't think the people of Chicago want somebody just to parachute in and buy the election," said Braun.

Miguel del Valle says his lack of campaign contributors will make him a better mayor.

"I will be able to fully represent the interests of the people in the neighborhoods rather than the interests of big campaign contributors," del Valle said.

In a statement Thursday, a spokesman said Rahm Emanuel campaign contributions "reflect the strength of our support across Chicago." But the spokesman also said the campaign coffers include "contributions from business and philanthropic leaders around the country."

All the candidates were supposed to file contribution reports to the Election Board by the end of business Thursday.