Mayoral candidate and local businessman Steve Hagerty managed to put together a bigger base of supporters as well as far outspend his opponents to finish first in Tuesday’s Evanston mayoral primary.
Second-place finisher Mark Tendam got by with less money, but was unable to assemble as big a base of supporters.
Here’s a look at the election by the numbers.
Hagerty received more than twice as many votes as the second-place finisher — 4,369 to Tendam’s 2,022.
Brian Miller was just 168 votes back of Tendam in third place.
Only the top two finishers in the race bothered to list their supporters on their campaign websites. Hagerty got off to an early start on that. Tendam launched his website much later and didn’t make it quite as easy for people to add themselves to the list.
In the competition for marquee names in the local community, Hagerty also stood out, with endorsements from Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and former Mayor Lorraine Morton as well as three aldermen — Peter Braithwaite, Delores Holmes and Eleanor Revelle.
Tendam received endorsements from U.S. Rep Jan Schakowsky and MWRD Comr. Debra Shore.
Notably neither of the two alderman running for mayor — Tendam and Miller — received endorsements from any of their fellow aldermen. In Miller’s case that may not have been surprising, since he ran a largely oppositional campaign — challenging many City Council decisions.
In the more ephemeral world of Facebook likes — where anybody might say they “liked” any number of candidates — the numbers were closer.
But there, too, Hagerty got out to an early lead and finished on top.
In the money race, Hagerty has been far in front. As a business owner who has grown his startup consulting firm to have more than 100 employees, he has far more financial resources than his competitors, as indicated by the loans he’s made to his own campaign.
But he’s also been more successful than his competitors in bringing in contributions from other local residents.
And Evanston, while it has a lot of supporters of campaign finance limits, hasn’t hesitated to vote for the biggest-spending candidate in the past.
Mayor Tisdahl, in her initial bid to become mayor, greatly outspent her challengers and made substantial loans to her own campaign.
Total expenditures by the four candidates in that 2009 campaign were nearly $118,000 — with Tisdahl spending more than half of it.
Expenditure totals for this election won’t be known until after the general election is over. But the candidates have already reported raising a total of nearly $232,000 — nearly twice as much as was spent eight years ago.
With just under 20 percent of Evanston’s registered voters turning out for the primary, the money raised per vote gained calculation this year looks fairly striking — ranging from $7.72 for fifth place finisher Gary Gaspard to $34.26 for Hagerty.
Of course what matters now is how the voters of the three losing candidates will realign themselves for the general election and how residents who failed to vote in the primary but show up for the general election will cast their ballots.
We’ll know the answers in five weeks.