Emanuel foe posts big fundraising number in Chicago mayoral race

A top opponent to Rahm Emanuel in the Chicago mayoral race raised $2.5 million in the last fiscal quarter of last year.

The mayoral campaign for Gery Chico (D), former president of the Chicago Public Schools system, announced Monday his campaign had raised $2.5 million in the fourth quarter. Neither the Emanuel campaign nor the mayoral campaigns of former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (D) have released fundraising numbers for the quarter yet.

The news is a boon for the Chico campaign as the race tightens and the Feb. 22 primary election nears. On Jan. 1, Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.), another mayoral hopeful, ended his campaign, leaving Moseley Braun as the only black candidate in the race. Braun, Chico and Emanuel are considered the top three contenders to succeed Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Most polls have had Emanuel, former White House chief of staff to President Obama, with a double-digit lead over Moseley Braun, although no candidate has polled above the 50 percent mark — suggesting the election may prompt a runoff. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent, the top two candidates will square off.

Most of the fourth-quarter donations averaged at about $1,000, according to the Chico campaign.

"With an average contribution of nearly $1,000 and with roughly 97 percent of all donations coming from the Chicago metropolitan area, Chico again demonstrated that neighborhood ties, hard work and perseverance are keys to his success," the Chico press release said.

The Emanuel campaign did not immediately comment on Chico's fourth-quarter fundraising.