Watch CBS News

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Has More Campaign Money Than All Political Opponents Combined

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has more campaign money than all of his political opponents combined.

2 Investigator Brad Edwards reports when it comes to raising money, nobody did it better.

The mayor reported having $7.6 million in his campaign war chest as of June 30, which is the most recent available data.

After office, Emanuel can use his campaign money to support other candidates, committees, or charities. He can use it to run for state office at a later date or just keep it open.

State campaign disclosure records show Emanuel accepted five separate donations totaling $14,000 as recently as August 24, a sign that his decision to not run for reelection may have come suddenly.

"I've never met anybody in my lifetime as good as Rahm," stated Political Advisor Thom Serafin of Serafin and Associates.

Emanuel was expected to face a wide field of contenders, though even the frontrunners had far less loot.

Attorney Lori Lightfoot led the way with $458,000 as of June 30th, followed by Paul Vallas, the former head of Chicago Public Schools, with $435,000.  Garry McCarthy, the former police superintendent had $173,000.

CBS 2's Brad Edwards asked Serafin considering Emanuel had such a war chest, what was the lynch pin that made him decide he can't win?

"He's got some very smart friends. They understand the scrutiny and understand the neighborhoods. I think it came down to the numbers. It was just so difficult for him to get a base, what is his base?" responded Serafin.

Jim Edgar was the last governor in 1999 to keep his campaign fund open with nearly $380,000.

Of the men who helped build Rahm Emanuel's war chest was top fundraiser, Michael Sacks. Some called Sacks the "Rahm whisperer." CBS 2 reached out overseas for a comment from Sacks. He said, "It is a loss for the city."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.